“Equally important, maintaining these restrictions carries a high price in our trade negotiations. They bind the hands of our trade negotiators and place them at disadvantage with our foreign counterparts in the negotiating process. The result has often led to less market access for other U.S. agricultural goods such as beef, rice and soybeans, as well as countries excluding sensitive markets entirely in trade negotiations. The result of U.S. exclusion of sugar in the US-Australia FTA, for example, encouraged Korean insistence on exclusion of rice in its FTA with the U.S.
“We believe that the continuous practice of protectionist policies by the United States with regard to the current sugar program conflicts with our national goals of export promotion and an open rules-based trading system. As the United States moves forward in efforts to expand and penetrate in new markets it is vital that the U.S. re-examine its protectionist policies toward sugar. We urge you to support the amendment to the farm bill that would begin that process.”