Sugar Reform Receiving More Focus As Farm Bill Comes To House

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Washington — The industry is closely following news from the U.S. House of Representatives this week as the chamber prepares to decide what amendments will be voted on for inclusion in the farm bill.

One proposed modification to the legislation that is receiving strong industry support is an amendment from Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) that would eliminate production limits, eliminate the sugar-to-ethanol program and give the administration greater flexibility to lower tariffs on imported sugar, according to Bloomberg.

“I am a believer in free markets. Republicans should all believe in free markets. Some do more than others,” Foxx said, adding: “I do not believe in in allotments. All the other programs like this have gone away. Sugar is the last one.”

Additionally, Bloomberg reports Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will attempt to make a similar amendment to the Senate version of the bill.

While the movement to modernize the program has broad support from a slew of organizations and industries, Bloomberg reported sugar growers have considerable political power, noting that nine of the top 12 farm group donors to congressional campaigns this election cycle were sugar-related.