Washington — Disappointing small business owners looking for alleviation from artificially inflated sugar prices, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to address the sugar program during yesterday’s farm bill amendment process. While the House neglected to help small businesses and manufacturers, sugar reform supporters are still hopeful the Senate will address the outdated program when it takes up the farm bill.
“Unfortunately, the vote count on the Foxx amendment reflects politics as usual in Washington — from backroom deals to bitter partisanship on major pieces of legislation,” the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy (AFSP) said in a statement. “This vote does not reflect the thousands of small business; newspaper editorial boards; and taxpayer watchdog, consumer protection and environmental groups that have called on Congress to modernize the sugar program.”
Sugar is the only commodity subsidy program yet to be modernize, forcing U.S. manufacturers to pay twice as much for the ingredient as the rest of the world, according to the sugar reform advocacy group.
AFSP reports a number of provisions from the Foxx amendment are likely to be included in a Senate amendment, which would help ensure an adequate supply of sugar at reasonable prices for American business without risking an appropriate safety net for farmers.
“We are committed to continuing this fight. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and a broad-based group of small, family-owned businesses and manufacturers, retailers, food and beverage companies, trade associations, environmental advocates, taxpayer watchdog organizations, responsible government advocates, think tanks and other organizations still believe American small businesses deserve a fair sugar policy that works for everyone in the supply chain – from farm to the retail shelf,” AFSP said in its release. “We believe that the Senate will say yes to fairness, yes to competitiveness and yes to protecting and creating American jobs by modernizing the sugar program.”