A vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on the Central American Free Trade Agreement could come this week. Though final vote results could fall either way, Sen. Saxby Chambliss' recent switch to support the bill may have a positive influence on the outcome.
Though he initially opposed the measure because of what he considered a violation of the Farm Bill, Chambliss, R-Ga. and chairman of the Agriculture Committee, received assurances the United States' sugar program would not be jeopardized. Satisfied with that fact, Chambliss voted in favor of the measure.
The Senate's 54-45 vote on June 30 was the smallest margin for a trade agreement since 1993 when senators approved the North American Free Trade Agreement by a vote of 61-38.
Chambliss said he was confident sugar producers would be protected, sugar imports will not be a threat to the industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will study the feasibility of converting sugar into ethanol to help meet energy needs.To top it off, I am sure this means the USDA will be spending more money on these feasibility studies. Why must the government do this? Why not encourage private companies to do so? Republican or Democrat, it seems that some things seem to never change--our government likes to spend money and a lot of it.