Most U.S. sugar loans go to three domestic companies

Three sugar companies, Amalgamated Sugar Co., Michigan Sugar Co. and Western Sugar Cooperative, received more than half the $1.1 billion in federal loans made this fiscal year to process sugar. As domestic sugar-trading prices are at a four-year low, the USDA has voiced concern that the companies may not be able to pay back what they owe, which contributes to why lawmakers on both sides call the program a hidden tax on consumers. The three sugar companies produce about 20% of sugar for the U.S., and the federal government has lent out $8.8 billion to sugar processors over the past nine years.

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