USDA should increase sugar quota, says Washington Post

In an editorial today, the Washington Post attacks U.S. sugar policy, with its price supports and import restrictions that raise the cost of sugar in the U.S. about 15 cents per pound higher than the world price.

Though the sugar program is mandated by farm bills – the latest in 2008 — the Post rightly points out that the Administration can take a small step to allow more market-priced sugar to come into the country.  The Secretary of Agriculture can increase or reallocate the sugar quotas that are allocated to 40 countries, some of which, such as Haiti and Jamaica, that haven’t exported sugar to the U.S. in years. Under those quotas, which haven’t been changed for years, quota-holding countries can export sugar to the U.S. at low or no tariffs.  Amounts above those tariff rate quotas face high duties.

For CEI background on the sugar issue and proposals for reform and CEI support for increasing the quotas, see CEI’s website and here and here and here.