Conservative groups support Yoho ‘zero for zero’ bill to end sugar subsidies reciprocally

Feb. 4, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government joined today in a letter with eight free market and limited government groups to support H. Con. Res. 7 by U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) that would end sugar subsidies globally via reciprocal trade agreements with other nations

H. Con. Res. 7 calls for an elimination of “all direct and indirect subsidies that benefit the production or export of sugar by all major sugar producing and consuming countries,” including Brazil, India and Thailand, which are labeled in the letter as “sugar dumpers.”

The letter states, “America’s sugar farmers compete, unfairly, against heavily subsidized foreign producers, justifying the current no-cost, U.S. sugar policy program to stabilize the domestic sugar market… If foreign governments would eliminate their market-distorting subsidies, allowing the U.S. to end domestic support programs, a free market would exist, and America’s sugar farmers could compete effectively in that market.”

“Congress has a made-to-order opportunity to embrace that promise and send a clear message that trade ‘cheating’ will not be tolerated and America will be put first,” the letter added.

The letter was signed by Americans for Limited Government, 60 Plus, Less Government, Citizen Outreach, Institute for Liberty, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, Hispanic Leadership Fund, Institute for Policy Innovation and Tea Party Nation.

The “zero for zero” bill currently has six co-sponsors.

Attachments:

Letter to House Republicans in favor of H. Con. Res. 7, Feb. 4, 2019 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/EndSugarSubsidiesLetter2-4-19.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1003 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview.

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House should reject Sugar Modernization Act, support Zero for Zero instead

May 8, 2018, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement after joining with eight free market and limited government groups in calling for the House to reject H.R. 4265, the Sugar Modernization Act, and instead to adopt the Zero for Zero approach to reducing sugar subsidies:

“The Sugar Policy Modernization Act foolishly mandates that the U.S. Department of Agriculture oversupply U.S. markets with subsidized foreign sugar and removes critical farmer loan programs that are otherwise available to almost every commodity. This proposal puts America last, and supposes that we should unilaterally lower our subsidies at a time when countries like Brazil, India and China are increasing their sugar production incentives, disadvantaging U.S. sugar producers and leaving them unprotected.

“Instead, Congress should be considering U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho’s Zero for Zero approach, where the U.S. only lowers its domestic supports when other countries do the same. The U.S. must not unilaterally surrender at a time when the President is trying to move towards fair and reciprocal trade. Those who argue for free markets should embrace giving the President the tools to end the international subsidization of sugar, and put America first.”

Attachments:

Letter from nine free market and limited government groups to House Republicans urging rejection of H.R. 4265, May 8, 2018 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/FreeMarketSugarLetter5-8-18.pdf

“Give President Trump the Power to Negotiate Sugar Subsidies Away,” By Rick Manning, May 8, 2018 at https://pjmedia.com/trending/give-president-trump-the-power-to-negotiate-sugar-subsidies-away/

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.

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U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho’s Zero for Zero plan should be model not just for sugar policy, but all trade policy

March 23, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging members of the House of Representatives to cosponsor legislation by U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho that would end U.S. sugar subsidies and subsidies used by competitors globally:

“The Yoho Zero for Zero plan would legislatively end domestic sugar subsidies, but only after other major international sugar dumpers like Brazil, India and Thailand agree to stop subsidizing their sugar industries in a reciprocal manner. This will give President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, everything he needs in negotiating the elimination of these subsidies with major sugar exporting nations. Congress will have already affirmatively ended subsidies pending negotiations so Lighthizer will be negotiating from a position of strength when he gets to Washington, D.C. and is confirmed by the Senate.

“The Yoho Zero for Zero plan fits right in with President Trump’s trade agenda, and is dedicated to getting a better deal, and rejects the position of unilateral reductions in subsidies that will kill American sugar without reciprocal reductions overseas. That more than 70-year policy objective failure, which does not taken into consideration the realities of true trade negotiations, must be consigned to the dustbin of history with all the other bad trade deals we’ve made over the years. Zero for zero should be the model for not just sugar policy, but all trade policy.”

Attachments:

Zero for Zero Act, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, March 23, 2017 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Zero_for_Zero-Act.xml_.pdf

“Yoho Zero for Zero sugar policy is a trade win-win for everyone,” By Robert Romano, Jan. 12, 2017 at http://netrightdaily.com/2017/01/yoho-zero-zero-sugar-policy-trade-win-win-everyone/

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.

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ALG joins with conservative groups urging Congress to adopt zero for zero sugar policy

Sept. 27, 2016, Fairfax, Va.–Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today in a joint letter with the Hispanic Leadership Fund, the Institute for Policy Innovation, the 60 Plus Association, the Institute for Liberty, Citizen Outreach and Less Government urged Congressional Republicans to adopt the zero for zero sugar policy to eliminate sugar subsidies when the rest of the world does proposed by U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), which stated in part:

“U.S. sugar producers, like all farmers and most businesses today, are part of the global economy and are sensitive to the actions of governments around the world.  Those governments are currently ratcheting up sugar subsidies to levels well above those seen in the United States, and the world sugar market is fluctuating wildly as a result.

“Countries like Brazil, Thailand, India and Mexico are flouting global trade rules and distorting free-market prices with billions a year in handouts designed to keep inefficient producers afloat.  The subsequent dumping of subsidized surpluses has made sugar the world’s most volatile commodity market.

“Market-distorting policies abroad are the main reason that America has a sugar policy in the first place.  Unilaterally disarming U.S. policy without addressing the larger problem of rampant global subsidization will lead to the outsourcing of yet another efficient U.S. business and will leave American consumers dependent on unreliable foreign suppliers.

“The true free-market solution to this problem is being championed by Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.).  His zero-for-zero sugar policy would direct U.S. trade negotiators to achieve sugar subsidy reforms abroad, and would require sugar policy elimination in the United States once the free market forms.

“It is essentially a global subsidy cease-fire, and it is the only truly free-market solution on the table that puts efficient U.S. businesses in a position to succeed.”

Attachments:

Letter to Congressional Republicans on Zero for Zero, Sept. 27, 2016 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/ZeroforZeroLetter9-27-16.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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Sen. Rubio is right about Zero for Zero

Nov. 9, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement applauding Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for coming out in favor of a zero for zero approach to eliminating U.S. sugar subsidies:

“Sen. Rubio has exactly the right approach to zero for zero sugar subsidies policies, which is to say, the U.S. should get rid of its subsidies when the rest of the world gets rid of theirs. This is the same exact approach akin to reciprocal tariff reduction that has been in place since the end of Smoot-Hawley. Everyone knows in a negotiation, that if you unilaterally cede ground, you lose all leverage. Unilaterally offering to end U.S. sugar and other agricultural subsidies would be like unilaterally offering to end tariffs on imported goods, without expecting anything in return. Why would we do that?

“Such an approach would wreck U.S. domestic production of sugar in favor of foreign competitors like Brazil who subsidize their sugar and want to dump it all over the market the minute we remove our subsidies. The same exact thing happened in the European Union, where after they took down their subsidies in the mid-2000s, foreign competitors dumped subsidized sugar onto the market, dramatically reducing domestic production. The Europeans went from being the second largest exporter to the world’s largest importer, according to a 2012 ProSunergy study.

“All this because world trade rules grant favors — special and differential treatment — to so-called developing nations like Brazil. Why would we continue with an approach that already subsidizes foreign competition with unfair rules, and then offer them even more subsidies on top of that by eliminating domestic protections?

“This is why we need zero for zero. In a true free market, there would be no subsidies. U.S. producers must not be asked to bow to foreign industries that are bankrolled by their governments. This is not about sugar, it is about what is fair.  And it is not fair to tell our farmers that their livelihoods are being outsourced to a foreign country that is subsidizing and cheating the system.

“We all want a free market. Not just in sugar, but for all industries. But unilaterally disarming America’s subsidies and hoping our heavily subsidized competitors follow suit is not a realistic way to achieve a free market. That is just wishful thinking and it is naïve. Yes, we should eliminate U.S. sugar subsidies, but we need to do it in a way where we can use it as leverage to actually achieve global reform and, then only when other governments are getting out of the market, too. It’s called negotiating, and it’s time we stopped losing those negotiations.”

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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ALG Foundation releases study on pathway to free market agriculture

April 13, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government Foundation released a report today by Dr. J. Wesley Burnett of the College of Charleston detailing some of the federal government barriers obstructing the growth of a thriving agriculture sector.

Nathan Mehrens, president of the foundation explained, “Agriculture is one of the great drivers of the American economy, and is fundamental to our nation’s self-sufficiency. We decided that it was important to take a look at federal government actions that negatively influence a farmer’s capacity to thrive, so that a pathway can be forged to remove these barriers and create a consensus on how to establish an agriculture sector that is less government dependent in the future.”

Burnett’s report details environmental, tax and the impact of foreign subsidies on the U.S. farmer pointing to efforts by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from dramatically expanding their reach to every puddle and irrigation ditch on the family farm.

Titled, “Moving to a Free Market Agriculture Policy,” Burnett praises the 2014 Farm Bill for eliminating direct farm subsidies and making, “strides in moving these agriculture subsidies toward a more market based environment.”

While noting that the current shift to complete reliance on a subsidized crop insurance system is a step in the right direction, Burnett calls for further reductions in these federal government supports to move the system closer to a free market.

Burnett also pointed to an innovative approach to ending federal government sugar subsidies championed by Representative Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) known as zero for zero. Yoho’s approach would have the U.S. end sugar subsidies but only upon agreement through international negotiations from other major sugar exporters to similarly end their support systems.

Yoho’s triggered end to sugar price manipulation by foreign producers both protects U.S. producers from the market distorting effects of foreign subsidies while giving U.S. negotiators an already approved promise to end price floors.

Mehrens argues that, “Burnett’s work lays the groundwork for a series of congressional actions that can be taken now to end many of the federal government policies that artificially increase the costs of doing business for farmers and by ending these costly barriers, open the doors to moving aggressively toward a more free market based agriculture policy.”

Dr. Burnett currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at the College of Charleston. Dr. Burnett’s research emphasizes the applications of applied microeconomic theory to solving and analyzing problems in agricultural and resource economics and policy. Before arriving at the College of Charleston, he served three years on the faculty at West Virginia University. Dr. Burnett holds a MA and PhD of Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Georgia.

Attachments:

“Moving to A Free Market Agriculture Policy,” By Dr. J. Wesley Burnett, PhD on behalf of Americans for Limited Government Foundation, April 2015, at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Free-Market-Agriculture-Policy-Report.pdf

“Conservatives develop pathway for free market agriculture minus big government subsidies,” By Alex Swoyer, April 13, 2015, at http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/13/conservatives-develop-pathway-for-free-market-agriculture-minus-big-government-subsidies/

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

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225 years later, sugar subsidies no closer to being eliminated

October 8, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement calling attention to a new white paper, “Getting rid of sugar subsidies: A look to the future after decades of failure,” and urging passage of H. Con. Res. 39 by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) that calls for the elimination of sugar subsidies, but only once other sugar exporters have taken similar action:

“For the last 60 years, conservatives have called for the end of sugar subsidies using the same, standard free market language, and have failed miserably. Rather than telling every member of Congress they should not care if every domestic sugar producer is driven out of business costing hundreds of thousands of jobs, and reinforcing the fears of every farm state representative and senator that their constituents might be in the cross hairs next should sugar subsidies fall now, conservatives need a new, winning game plan.

“Unilaterally ending sugar subsidies has been a losing argument for 225 years, dating back to the original protections on sugar during the first Congress of 1789. The Yoho reform recognizes that there is no free market for sugar, and we need to change the international subsidy playing field in order to achieve one.

“Yoho has a better plan, which calls for ending the subsidies, but only contingent upon other nations following suit. By ending subsidies through a thoughtful approach, Yoho does not destroy a domestic industry, and instead engages and encourages other nations to do the same. The Yoho plan will empower U.S. representatives at the World Trade Organization to push for mutual ending of these subsidies, helping to usher in a new era of free markets and creating a template for addressing other subsidized industries.”

Attachments:

“Getting rid of sugar subsidies: A look to the future after decades of failure,” By ALG vice president of public policy and communications Rick Manning, October, 8, 2014 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SugarWhitePaper10-8-14.pdf .

“The Case for a Zero for Zero Sugar Policy in the United States,” By Dr. Mark Hartley on behalf of Americans for Limited Government Foundation, July 18, 2013 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Zero-for-Zero-Sugar-Policy-718.pdf .

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Study: A Third Way on Sugar Policy

SugarPolicy

July 18, 2013, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government Foundation released “The Case for a Zero for Zero Sugar Policy in the United States” by Dr. Mark Hartley of the College of Charleston examining the much debated and highly controversial United States sugar policy.

Dr. Hartley, a Professor of Business and Carolina/Virginia Chair in Supply Management School of Business, finds common ground in the arguments of both proponents and opponents of current policy around free market arguments writing, “Both sides have publicly embraced the concept of a free market.  A true free market could eliminate U.S. protectionist policies, thus helping consumers, and ensure a strong domestic supply for years to come.  Both sides believe that subsidies are detrimental to the sugar trade market.  And certainly both sides agree that domestic production is important to ensuring food safety and high quality standards.”

Richard Manning, Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for Americans for Limited Government Foundation, notes, “the contentious debate has always centered on how to achieve a true free market ideal, and Dr. Hartley threads that needle in this just released paper.” Hartley identifies the “zero for zero” sugar policy model as the “true free market approach.”

Championed by U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), under zero for zero U.S. officials would push for zero subsidies abroad while using the promise of zero subsidies at home as incentive.  The proposal would lift restrictions and tariffs uniformly between all nations that produce sugar in the global market.

Hartley concludes that, “As proposed, a zero for zero sugar policy would lift restrictions and tariffs on trade between all players in the global sugar market and would target market-distorting policies, including direct and indirect subsidies.”

However, the zero for zero solution is not easily accomplished, with more than 100 sugar producing countries worldwide with 100 different sugar policies.

Anticipating this dilemma, Hartley points to the World Trade Organization as the only place where the world’s varying trade/subsidy sugar policies can be brought to heel.

With Brazil now controlling more than half of the world’s sugar export market, Hartley notes Brazilian dominance in the market is through, “essentially complete government subsidization, any worldwide free market approach to sugar policy must include their participation.”

In fact, Brazil’s latest federal budget includes higher subsidies for their sugar industry than last year.

Hartley recognizes this reality concluding that, “The WTO is unquestionably the only entity that can deal with all sugar subsidies in all countries at the same time.  And if Brazil or other top producers refuse to participate via WTO pressure, the existing tariffs on foreign subsidized sugar imported to the U.S. market should remain in place, although this option is clearly not the preferred approach.”

Dr. Mark Hartley has published over 100 articles covering a wide variety of topics focusing on business operations in refereed academic journals, conference proceedings and professional trade publications, and is a frequent speaker and contributor to groups such as the Institute for Supply Management and the Decision Sciences Institute. He is a Member of the South Carolina Procurement Review Panel, served on the Governor’s Commission on Management, Accountability, and Performance (MAP Commission), and later as Chairman of Charleston County’s MAP Commission.

Interviews with Dr. Hartley or an Americans for Limited Government expert on the subject can be arranged through the Americans for Limited Government press office.

Attachments:

“The Case for a Zero for Zero Sugar Policy in the United States,” Dr. Mark Hartley, Americans for Limited Government Foundation, July 2013 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Zero-for-Zero-Sugar-Policy-718.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government press office at (202) 744-4427 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with Dr. Hartley or an Americans for Limited Government expert on the subject.

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