The Post argued [“Sweet nothing,” editorial, Nov. 26] that Congress should end the U.S. sugar policy and allow lower prices.
North American sugar prices have barely budged in three decades, and U.S. prices are lower today than in the 1980s. While consistently cheap sugar has been a boon for confectioners — which, coincidently, boast bigger profit margins than major oil companies — the low-price environment has put pressure on sugar producers.
In the United States, the least efficient producers went out of business and 100,000 workers lost their jobs. The survivors maximized efficiency by vertically integrating and investing in new technology.
In Mexico, no one went out of business because the government took ownership of inefficient mills instead of letting the free market work. Today, the Mexican government is the country’s biggest producer and exporter, and, with the help of the government, Mexican sugar production is expanding and flooding the U.S. market.
U.S. sugar producers are among the world’s most efficient, but we shouldn’t be expected to compete with the Mexican government.
To unilaterally disarm by eliminating U.S. sugar policy, as The Post suggested, is an irresponsible position that Congress has rejected. Lawmakers rightly refuse to jeopardize American jobs by outsourcing U.S. sugar production.
Jack Roney, Arlington
The writer is director of economics and policy analyst for the American Sugar Alliance.