Higgins Calls on House to Protect Louisiana Sugar Farmers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) spoke on the House floor today, urging his colleagues to protect American sugar farmers and farm families in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Congressman Higgins’ remarks are below:
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today on behalf of the American farmer.
Mr. Speaker, will this body recognize the heritage and culture, the sacrifice of American farmers, who for generations have provided for our country and our world.
I rise today in support of one of America’s most important agricultural commodities that supports an industry which produces $20 billion of domestic economic activity annually. Sugar.
I have the honor of representing Southwest Louisiana, where sugar contributes $3.5 billion to our state economy annually, and employees over 16,000 hardworking Louisiana citizens.
Mr. Speaker, these men, and women have come into their lives embracing the heritage and hard work of their mothers, their fathers, their grandmothers, their grandfathers. For generations, by the toil of their labor, the sweat of their brow, they’ve tilled the soil and raised sugar.
The United States has historically been a reliable supplier of high-quality, low-cost sugar that is used by consumers domestically and internationally.
In fact, Americans on average spend over 20% less for sugar than consumers in other nations, and manufacturers pay roughly the same price for American sugar that they did in the 1980’s.
American sugar growers last year produced 32,000 tons of sugar-13,800 tons of which came from South Louisiana.
While sugar prices have remained flat for the past three decades, the cost of farming has not, as equipment, fuel, and fertilizer costs have all risen between 90%-200% in that same timeframe.
We must protect the future of American sugar, and American sugar farmers, American sugar farm families.
I urge all my colleagues to support American farmers, and pass H.R. 2 The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, as amended by the House Committee on Agriculture.
Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time.”