Committee defeats sugar amendment to farm bill

Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteLots of love: Charity tennis match features lawmakers teaming up across the aisle Dems try to end hearing on bias against conservatives in tech Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page gets closed-door grilling from House Republicans MORE (R-Va.) offered the amendment, which was supported by sugar users such as candy-makers. Goodlatte argued that opening up trade would lower food prices for consumers and create manufacturing jobs. He was supported in his effort by freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), who argued candy-makers will relocate to Canada unless the sugar program is changed. 

The Goodlatte bill among other things would allow developing countries to trade their share of the sugar import quota. A key beneficiary could be Brazil.

Goodlatte ran into a wall of opposition led by Ranking Member Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who represents sugar growers. He argued that the amendment could devastate farmers who now face unrestricted imports from an improving Mexican sugar industry.

Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), who joined the opposition, said there is no budget benefit to eliminating the sugar program since it currently does not cost the government money.

The Coalition for Sugar Reform said "the fight for sugar reform is far from over" and pledged a floor fight.