On the eve of a pivotal vote, which could have effectively cut America’s sugar producers out of the Farm Bill, the Wall Street Journal editorialized against U.S. farmers and in favor of subsidized foreign industries.
That didn’t sit well with Florida Congressman Ted Yoho (R), who promptly penned a letter in response. His letter was printed today and reads:
Your editorial against America’s no-cost sugar policy is based on decades-old rhetoric that is no longer relevant.
Sugar prices in the U.S. aren’t high and are lower today than in 1980. Consider this: A candy bar in the ’80s cost 35 cents and contained two pennies worth of sugar. Today, that same candy bar costs $1.49 and still has just 2 cents of sugar.
U.S. candy companies are no longer fleeing America. More than 100 domestic expansions have been announced since 2014. And foreign sweetened-food companies like Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo are opening factories here—not surprising, since sugar is cheaper in America than Mexico, according to the USDA.
America’s sugar market isn’t closed as in the past. We are the world’s third-biggest importer of sugar, allowing imports from 40 nations. What we don’t allow is subsidized sugar to be dumped in America. And that’s at the heart of the current debate. Food manufacturers want subsidized sugar dumped here, as Mexico illegally did in 2013. Mexico’s actions cost U.S. farmers and businesses $4 billion in losses and drove Hawaii sugar farmers out of sugar altogether.
That kind of America-last farm policy is unacceptable today and is why I oppose Rep. Virginia Foxx’s unilateral attack on U.S. sugar farmers and workers which does nothing to stop foreign sugar subsidies. The purpose of the farm bill is to protect America’s food security. The Foxx Amendment attacks the security of American farmers by favoring profits for multinational food corporations.
Apparently, several of Yoho’s colleagues felt the same way. Foxx’s anti-farmer amendment lost in a landslide and was rejected by a whopping 141-vote margin.