Sugar League launches petition drive against free trade pact

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2004

THIBODAUX – The American Sugar Cane League (ASCL) has launched a petition drive asking members of Congress to oppose the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and other pending bi-lateral trade agreements that risk the future of the Louisiana and U.S. sugar industry. Louisiana sugar cane farmers, sugar mill and refinery workers, as well as concerned citizens are encouraged to sign the petition, which will be delivered to President Bush and the Louisiana congressional delegation.

CAFTA is a proposed trade deal between the United States and six Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic) which, if approved by Congress, will threaten the viability of the Louisiana sugar industry. The sugar industry in Louisiana employs 27,000 people and generates $2 billion industry-related revenue for the state.

“This petition drive will show Congress the number of people negatively affected by CAFTA and other unfair trade deals,” said Jim Simon, General Manager, American Sugar Cane League. “Congressional members need to know that CAFTA will devastate the U.S. sugar industry and they need to know the names of the people whose livelihoods are threatened.”