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NFTC Urges Secretary Vilsack to Increase Sugar Import Quota, Asks Congress to Press for Reform
Date: 4/9/2010
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, urging him to increase the sugar import quota immediately to alleviate the cost burden on consumers and industrial users. The NFTC also sent a letter to all Members of Congress to request their help in pressing the Secretary to reform U.S. sugar policy without delay.

In the letter addressed to Secretary Vilsack, NFTC President Bill Reinsch wrote:

"As an organization that promotes U.S. exports and the benefits of open trade, the National Foreign Trade Council has long been concerned about the impact of U.S. sugar policy on consumers, businesses and workers. Today, those concerns are heightened by short supplies of sugar and exorbitant prices for consumers and industrial users….

"…Even though world sugar prices are higher than normal, U.S. prices are even higher. This means that the pressure on American consumers could be alleviated if world sugar supplies could be imported freely. But they cannot be: U.S. law sets quotas for sugar imports from some 40 different countries. Any imports in excess of these quotas are subject to an extremely high, normally prohibitive tariff.

"These high tariffs have always been justified as a way of protecting U.S. sugar farmers from low world prices. The rationale was that world sugar prices are so low that our sugar farmers and processors could not survive if they had to sell at the world price. Now, however, world prices are much higher than the historical norm….

"…There is a simple way to alleviate the strain on consumers, businesses and their employees, and it requires no new legislation. You have the ability to increase the tariff rate quota for sugar imports immediately, in any amount you choose. We respectfully urge you to provide immediately for an increase in raw and refined sugar tariff rate quotas that will allow stocks to return to a normal level."

To read the NFTC letter to Secretary Vilsack, click here.
To read the NFTC letter to Members of Congress, click here.

About the NFTC

Advancing Global Commerce for 95 Years - The National Foreign Trade Council ( is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.
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