A Reallocation of the Raw Sugar TRQ and Increase of the Refined Sugar TRQ Will Help U.S. Food and Beverage Manufacturers Meet Demand
Washington, D.C. (December 14, 2022) – The Sweetener Users Association (SUA) has asked the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to immediately reallocate the raw sugar tariff-rate quota (TRQ) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to significantly increase the TRQ for refined sugar in order to help U.S. food and beverage manufacturers meet demand during a time of historically tight sugar supplies.
“While SUA members support expanded sugar production and manufacturing and refining capacity in the United States in the long term, USTR and USDA can act now under existing laws and regulations to ease the acute supply crisis,” said SUA President Rick Pasco.
In making the case, SUA cited converging issues causing supply constrictions this year, including two separate force majeure declarations by U.S. beet sugar sellers and significant supply disruptions to raw cane sugar imports from the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. Consequently, prices remain at historically high levels and multiple sellers of sugar have withdrawn from the market, telling customers they have no uncommitted sugar to sell. SUA also explained that USDA has the authority to impose conditions sufficient to ensure that a refined import quota is open only to sugar that is immediately usable by manufacturers without the need for further processing.
“We strongly urge USDA to use its existing authority to meet market needs. Timely action will prevent manufacturing slowdowns resulting from inadequate supplies, mitigate food price inflation and discourage further offshoring of sugar refining,” continued Pasco. “Acting together, USTR and USDA can help sugar-using companies deliver the products Americans love.”