Agriculture Under Secretary Jim Miller and other U.S. Department of Agriculture officials will meet today to discuss U.S. sugar supplies and policy. USDA has the authority through the 2008 Farm Bill to increase the tariff rate quotas (TRQs) for sugar if adequate supplies are not available at reasonable prices.
The TRQs establish the amounts of raw, refined and specialty sugars that may be imported for domestic use in products such as flavored milk and ice cream. IDFA has worked consistently with the Sweetener Users Association to advocate for increasing the sugar TRQs, because the available domestic supply is at its lowest point in several decades. Without an increase, IDFA members using sugar run the risk of increased production costs, which could mean potential job losses and higher consumer prices.
Although the TRQs for sugar remain at minimum levels, as mandated by the Farm Bill, USDA indicated last fall that it would make adjustments during the fiscal year to ensure an adequate supply for domestic manufacturers. IDFA urges members concerned about tight sugar supplies to write to Miller at:
The Honorable Jim Miller
Farm & Foreign Agricultural Services
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250
Miller also is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the upcoming International Sweetener Colloquium on February 22. The meeting will be held February 21-24 at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami.
For more information on TRQs or the Colloquium, contact Katie Sparrow, IDFA manager of international trade, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3507.