Washington — The NCA is asking its members to thank representatives in the House who voted for the Pitts Sugar Reform Resolution this weekend, which failed with a vote of 212 to 192.
The bill would have restored the Secretary of Agriculture’s ability to allow imports of sugar at any point rather than waiting until the second half of the year without allowing more sugar into the country and without altering the countries from which the U.S. already imports.
Although sugar reform lost seven representatives who voted to pass similar reform legislation earlier this year, eight new Congressional members supported the bill.
The Association reports: “Our confectioners, staff, consultants and several of our champion members of Congress worked hard for each of these votes. Additionally, we witnessed impressive support by multiple members of Congress who represented confectioners when they debated the sugar growers Friday evening over the merits of the resolution.”
Brown & Haley President and CEO Pierson Clair adds: “We've made huge progress in a really short amount of time and we have some very articulate, dynamic and passionate supporters now who understand sugar reform is in the best interest of the country.
“If sugar reform passes, the winners in all this are the American consumers. The current sugar legislation allows for these wild upward swings in sugar and a world sugar market would allow for much more competition and fairer prices for consumers.”
Now the House and Senate are hashing out both of their versions of the Farm Bill, neither of which includes sugar reform. The House bill would mandate a permanent sugar program, while the Senate bill would put the current bill up for renewal in five years.