ASA Statement on Senate Sugar Policy Vote

Sabrina General, Industry News Release, Specialty Crops

The American Sugar Alliance issued the following statement about today’s bipartisan vote in the United States Senate to reject a Farm Bill amendment offered by Sens. Patrick Toomey (R-PA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to gut America’s sugar policy.

“This amendment would have stripped the USDA of the tools it needs to operate sugar policy in a way that limits taxpayer cost. It would have led to chronic oversupplies of sugar on the U.S. market, jeopardizing jobs and economic activity in rural America. It would have given heavily subsidized foreign sugar producers an unfair competitive advantage over Americans and left us more dependent on foreign suppliers for a food staple. And, it would not advance a free market for global sugar trade.

“In short, this amendment represented bad policy for the United States, which is why it was defeated once again.

“America’s sugar producers thank Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS) for their continued support. Senators who helped reject this amendment should be applauded for defeating a scheme designed to benefit only a handful of multinational foodcompanies and heavily subsidized foreign interests. Taxpayers and hardworking farm families are winners today, and we will work hard to keep sugar policy strong as the Farm Bill works its way through the U.S. House of Representatives.”

This is the third time the Senate has voted down anti-sugar amendments since last summer. The House Agriculture and Appropriations Committees rejected similar amendments last year. Earlier this month, the House Agriculture Committee approved a Farm Bill with the current sugar policy intact.

For more information about the American Sugar Alliance and U.S. sugar policy, visit www.sugaralliance.org.