Congressional and industry representatives speak at ASA symposium.
According to ASA news releases, congressional and industry representatives recently spoke at the 17th annual International Sweetener Symposium Aug. 5-9 in Steamboat Springs, CO.
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Rep. Larry Combest (R-TX) said he would stand up for American farmers threatened by high foreign subsidies. "I don't want a bidding war (with foreign governments).but we will open the purse strings if we have to," he said commenting on subsidies.
He told the symposium the U.S. must keep its agriculture sector strong and make certain other countries live up to trade agreements. "We must not become dependent on foreign countries to provide our food and fiber."
Rep. Thomas Ewing (R-IL), chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee with jurisdiction over sugar, told the group agricultural-congressional support should include sugar farmers. He said it is "frustrating that while sugar prices go down, prices for manufactured products that use sugar continue to go up."
Several industry representatives from different countries also talked about the economic and social benefits of sugar ethanol and the lack of progress in free trade.