Conservative groups urge Republican lawmakers to rein in agricultural subsidies

Feb. 10, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—8 conservative organizations sent a letter to Republican lawmakers today, encouraging Congress to take a global approach to reigning in the agricultural subsidies that are distorting global markets and harming U.S. consumers.

The letter, which was spearheaded by Americans for Limited Government, singled out the sugar market and noted that there are two competing conservative ideas of how to achieve reforms.

“One side wants to immediately and unilaterally end the current [U.S. sugar] program…even if it means increasing dependence on unreliable foreign food supplies,” read the letter. “The other side wants to end the current sugar program, as well, but not without simultaneously ending the market-distorting foreign government subsidies that unfairly place American farmers at a competitive disadvantage.”

The signers — which include American Legislative Exchange Council, the Hispanic Leadership Fund, 60 Plus, Less Government, Citizen Outreach, Institute for Liberty, and Institute for Policy Innovation, among others — explained that a strategic “zero-for-zero” policy where all countries simultaneously end subsidization is the preferred policy path. And they noted that such an approach is a viable option given the World Trade Organization’s focus on agricultural subsidies during trade talks in Nairobi, Kenya, this December.

“As such, we the undersigned free-market conservatives urge Members to reject calls for immediate ‘unilateral disarmament’ as it relates to the U.S. sugar program and instead embrace the more measured and reasoned strategic approach of a negotiated ‘zero-for-zero’ reform proposal among global competitors,” the letter concluded.

Attachments:

Open Letter to Republican Members of Congress on Reforming the U.S. Sugar Program, Feb. 10, 2016, Americans for Limited Government, Hispanic Leadership Fund, Institute for Policy Innovation, 60 Plus Association, Institute for Liberty, Citizen Outreach, Less Government, and American Legislative Exchange Council at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Zero-for-Zero-Letter-8-Conservative-Groups-2-10-16.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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