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Guest Opinions

Letter to the Editor - Klodette Stroh

Written by Klodette Stroh

To the Editor:

Our life situation often takes me back to Mathew 8:26 when Jesus and his disciples were out at sea and suddenly a storm blew up, threatening to sink their boat. Jesus got up and ordered the winds and the waves to stop, and there was a great calm. My parents advised my sister and me that we are never alone in life’s journey.

Last year, Mexico imported highly subsidized sugar into the U.S. market. Excess sugar imported from Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) cost U.S. government $250 million, in 2014. The excess sugar coming into the U.S. breaks the 2008 farm bill provision of the sugar program.

To be fair to sugar farmers, the U.S. and Mexican governments had reached reasonable settlement.  American sugar growers were disappointed because the Department of Commerce (DOC) decided to continue investigating the Mexican sugar industry despite that the vast majority of parties involved, including the U.S. and Mexican governments, counting on their March agreement to monitor imports of subsidized sugar in to the U.S. market. 

Once again I prayed for help because the sugar industry, which is an important sector of America’s agriculture, was under scrutiny.

On March 19, 2015 our prayers were answered. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) honored the agreements between the United States and Mexican governments to stop subsidized Mexican sugar from being dumped onto the U.S. market. The ITC was asked to determine whether the government’s settlement adequately removed the injury caused by unfairly-traded Mexican sugar

Farmers invest in their crops. Crude oil prices have driven the cost of fertilizer, fuel, chemical, parts and tires sky high and has remained at the same level since 2009. According to American Sugar Alliance (ASA), the International Sugar Organization examined wholesale sugar prices in 80 countries and found that other developed nations have paid, on average, 41 cents per pound for sugar over the past 10 years. By comparison, the current U.S. price is 34 cents per pound, which is almost identical to current world averages. Agriculture exports hit a record high $152.5 billion in January of 2015.

I love my beloved America and pray to God to keep this country independent. U.S. farms have been here to provide food and jobs and to bring our country back to its feet. Farmers and their lands have always protected our nation’s security. America needs to protect her first industry, which is agriculture. There will be storms in our life and they will threaten America’s independence. We have to keep our faith and pray, as in Mathew 8:23, and Jesus will answer prayers.   

Sincerely,

Klodette Stroh

WIFE National Sugar Chairman

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