Last Updated: May 30, 2012Topic: Sugar Policy
Current U.S sugar policy limits the supply and inflates the price of sugar, creating a serious business challenge for the U.S. confectionery industry.
U.S. sugar policies artificially limit the supply of refined sugar available to domestic candy makers, making it difficult for them to obtain supplies at a reasonable cost.
The Administration is obliged to set legal limits on the amount of sugar that domestic processors are permitted to sell, and to establish strict limits on imports (tariff rate quotas), as mandated in law. However, Congress should seek the quickest possible reform of sugar policy – and in the meantime USDA should use the flexibility it does have under the law to administer the program in a manner that does the least harm. Current sugar policy:
In response to tight market conditions, USDA announced on April 19, 2012 an increase to the tariff rate quota of 420,000 metric tons. This step was necessary and very much appreciated, but NCA along with the Sugar Policy Alliance, believes an increase of 1 million tons is necessary to provide an adequate supply for the marketplace, and to avoid any supply disruptions.
Operating the sugar program in a manner that drives up prices by restricting total supplies sacrifices the interests of consumers, small businesses and workers in sugar-using industries like confectionery manufacturing. The Administration should not elevate the agenda of large sugar sellers above the needs of small bakeries, ice-cream makers, and confectioners who rely on sugar supplies to make their products, meet their payroll and maintain jobs.