Senators Urge Lifting of Sugar Protections
Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker have asked the US Senate Agriculture Committee to eliminate a provision in the farm bill which they claim inflates sugar prices. Sighting a desire to protect Tennessee's food and beverage industries, the senators submitted a formal letter to committee chairman, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. In the letter, Alexander and Corker said sugar protections included in the farm bill benefit sugar growers "far in excess" to other commodity producers. They also wrote that the "provisions jeopardize jobs in the food and beverage processing industries of the economy." As written, the bill would increase price supports for domestic production of sugar and place restrictions on imports, the senators said, and, "A policy that would raise the price of sugar only in the United States could cause those Tennessee jobs to be shipped overseas."
Mike Gloekler, a spokesman for Collegedale, Tennessee-based McKee Foods, which produces Little Debbie snack cakes, said the bill "could create instability in the baking industry as well as provide an unfair advantage to foreign competitors
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