This Sweetheart Deal for Sugar Producers Costs Americans $Billions

Americans pay nearly twice the world price for raw sugar thanks to federal tariff-rate quotas that effectively prevent 95 percent of the world’s sugar from being used in the United States.

This draconian supply restriction means higher prices for Valentine’s candy and fewer jobs for Americans making products that contain sugar. It’s essentially a government-enforced OPEC for sugar, and Americans pay the price not just on Valentine’s Day but throughout the year.

The Department of Justice has pointed out that increased competition in the sugar industry would promote affordability and better quality. The best way to achieve that goal is to allow Americans to purchase affordable sugar grown abroad.

As President Biden’s Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains observed: “The United States needs resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains to ensure our economic prosperity and national security.” The United States should remove government-enforced barriers to resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains, starting with the U.S. sugar program.


*Note: Calculations based total global production of 183.2 million tons and a U.S. tariff-rate quota that effectively caps imports at 1.1 million metric tons