US sugar policy boosts jobs, production

U.S sugar producers, unlike SCP companies, are vulnerable to policy because of the price of sugar fluctuating.
U.S sugar producers, unlike SCP companies, are vulnerable to policy because of the price of sugar fluctuating. | File photo

A new study from the University of Maryland concluded that the current U.S. sugar policy, enacted in 2008, has created jobs and increased production.

"During 2009-2014 – a period that included a U.S. economic recession and unusually high world and U.S. sugar prices – [sugar-containing products] SCP industry jobs rose by 3 percent while non-sweetened-food industry jobs were flat,” Alex Triantis, the author of the report for the American Sugar Alliance, said.

Candy company lobbyists, however, say the candy makers are financially harmed by the current policy. Triantis examined the nine largest publicly held SCP companies and determined their share prices more than doubled in the last 15 years.

“The sugar-containing products industry has been faring very well under current U.S. sugar policy," Triantis said. "SCP companies have experienced strong revenue growth over time. These companies have high profitability and high returns on equity, even when sugar prices increase."

U.S sugar producers, unlike SCP companies, are vulnerable to policy because of the price of sugar fluctuating.

"While employment in sugar growing and processing has declined significantly over the past two decades," he said, "the sugar sector still supports a large number of jobs that would be at high risk of disappearing if the current U.S. sugar policy were to be significantly modified or rescinded."

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