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Public Statements

Expressing Sense of House Relating to Tariff-Rate Quotas for Raw and Refined Sugar

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SCHRADER. Madam Speaker, I think it is important to put all this in perspective. U.S. sugar policy from the 2008 farm bill has been very, very successful. As a matter of fact, the committees of jurisdiction both on the House and Senate side decided not to alter the sugar provisions in the 2013 farm bills passed by both the House and the Senate. As a matter of fact, this has been argued, as we have heard, again and again. This amendment and amendments similar to this have been rejected each time.

This would be a very damaging amendment at a time when American farmers are already hurting. This is exactly the inappropriate time to go after American jobs. These guys would end up going bankrupt, and I don't think you want to sacrifice existing American jobs with the hope that some new jobs might be created.

The other thing that is missing here is the acknowledgment that the Secretary of Agriculture already has the authority to increase U.S. sugar imports if there is an emergency. So why do we need this instruction? I don't get it.

The other point, if we are going to get back to some semblance of regular order in the conference process, since the House and Senate farm bills are identical here, this should not even be conferenceable at the end of the day. I think it is out of order and inappropriate.

Right now, Mexico, as has been stated, is well subsidized. Twenty percent of their production is outright subsidized, owned by their government, is driving sugar prices in the tank for Americans. That is not right. This should be WTO conferenceable at the end of the day.

This is the wrong time to go about trying to end a policy that has worked great for the last 12 years and finally is paying off for those sugar producers, sugar farmers, and all the sugar beet seed growers in my district that need a little help in this tough, tough time. I think if you are in favor of supporting a good balance of trade, supporting American agriculture, supporting the American taxpayer, at the end of the day, you do not want to vote in favor of Pitts amendment. I urge its defeat.

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