Sugar Policy and International Trade Topics of Discussion

DanAgri-Business, Exports/Imports, Legislative, Sugar, Trade


The House Ways and Means Committee this week held a field hearing on trade with a focus on agriculture and critical supply chains. The hearing took place in Kimball, Minnesota on the farm of NCBA president Don Schiefelbein of Schiefelbein Farms. U.S. sugar policy and international sugar trade were among the topics of discussion, with Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan bringing issues to light.

“Last year, Congressman Earl Blumenauer and I traveled to the Dominican Republic to meet with workers there. And what we saw, I would say is the closest thing I’ve ever seen the modern slavery. Workers were forced into dangerous working conditions and didn’t receive the pay they were due often. [They were] living in abhorrent housing conditions. Forced Labor has no place in the US supply chain,” he said. “And that’s why I’ve been proud to work to make sure that we can get enforcement actions against those Dominican operations and ensure that we protect the ability for American growers to produce a high-quality product and get a fair price.”

He also said sugar should be one of the commodities considered as lawmakers construct the 2023 farm bill.

“As we move forward in a Farm Bill year, an important initiative that we have to support is the US sugar farmers and the US sugar program and push back against what some would argue for. And that is that we need to be more dependent on imports of sugar even though we already import sugar from over 40 countries,” he said. He called it an important part of agriculture policy for the country.

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet News Hour and The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.