Robb MacKie, president and CEO of the American Bakers Association (ABA), Washington, D.C., was hopeful about the Senate vote on reforming the current U.S. sugar program, but soon saw that change was not to be. “The Senate unfortunately affirmed that it is business as usual in Washington by voting against reforming the outdated sugar program,” he says. “Instead of passing a measure that could have saved bakers and consumers over $3.5 billion a year in higher sugar costs, the Senate voted to continue a program that prevents bakers and other food manufacturers from reviving the economy.
“I would like to thank the many Senators that stood up for bakers, consumers and other food manufacturers by voting in favor of an amendment that could have added upwards of 20,000 jobs a year in food manufacturing,” MacKie continues. “Those that voted for this amendment understand the importance of removing programs that impede job growth. The sugar program does just that, having caused the loss of over 125,000 jobs in the U.S. between 1997 and 2010.”
MacKie adds that the ABA hopes the House of Representatives will embrace the chance to reform the sugar program and allow bakers to expand their business and create jobs. “The House Agriculture Committee has the next opportunity to take on this challenge in the coming weeks, with the full House following sometime this summer,” he says. “ABA stands ready to support members of Congress as they seek to reform this egregious program.”