Senate defeats sugar policy reform

Published online: May 23, 2013
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On a 55 to 45 vote Wednesday, the Senate defeated an attempt to change the sugar policy in the next farm bill.

An amendment cosponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) would have made changes to a program opponents charge restricts imports causing artificially high sugar prices at taxpayer expense.

Francis Smith with the Competitive Enterprise Institute says; "Americans are hit with higher prices for a wide variety of foodstuffs, while also paying the costs of a massive regulatory bureaucracy."

In a statement after the vote, the American Sugar Alliance thanked the senators who voted against the amendment saying, "It would have led to chronic oversupplies of sugar on the U.S. market, jeopardizing jobs and economic activity in rural America. It would have given heavily subsidized foreign sugar producers an unfair competitive advantage over Americans and left us more dependent on foreign suppliers for a food staple."

The House Ag Committee farm bill includes the current sugar policy.