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State

Kirk: Federal support for sugar farmers costs jobs

CHICAGO – Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic congressman Danny Davis are campaigning for an end to federal government price protections for sugar farmers.

The Farm Bill that passed this month leaves intact the government's depression-era program, which supports prices and protects growers from foreign competition.

Candy makers and other food and beverage companies long have said the protections artificially restrict supplies, force consumers to pay more and only benefit a few thousand well-off growers.

The two Illinois lawmakers are holding a news conference Sunday to highlight their efforts.

They said in a statement that 130,000 U.S. jobs have been lost to overseas competitors over the past 15 years because of the sugar program.

They will be joined Sunday by Bill Kelley, vice chairman of Jelly Belly.

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