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Such an example of collectivist farm policy, compounded by rigid trade protectionism, is an insult to all that our nation should stand for. It is flagrantly anti-consumer, anti-free trade, anti-worker, and anti-business.
 
In terms of our most basic values, denying our trading partners an opportunity to sell us a foodstuff as basic as sugar, the production of which might otherwise offer a step up the ladder to self-sufficiency, is just plain wrong. We constantly profess our concern for those less fortunate. Our words matter; they should be matched by deeds lest they ring hollow.
 
Congress can change course in the comprehensive farm bill that comes up for renewal in 2012. There are several key legislative measures that promise to deliver a positive economic impact to countless businesses in our nation.
 
Companion bills in the Senate and House can provide a comprehensive reform of the current sugar program. They would discontinue loan guarantees to sugar processors, eliminate tariff-rate quotas on sugar imports, and unwind federal policies that have put U.S.-based food manufacturers at a severe disadvantage to their foreign competitors. Simply put, these measures offer a critical opportunity to right an abuse that has endured long past its Depression-era purpose.
 
This archaic set of wrong-headed policies is self-imposed. Only Congress can lift the burden that current U.S. sugar policy has imposed on consumers, businesses and friendly neighboring countries for so long.  The time to act is now.
 
Bill Brock served as the United States Trade Representative from 1981 to 1985. He currently chairs the International Policy Roundtable for CSIS (Center for Strategic International Studies)