Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Sugar Program, focusing on: (1) USDA's procedures for setting the tariff-rate quota for imported raw sugar; and (2) the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) procedures for allocating the quota among sugar-producing countries.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Agriculture||To make the sugar program less costly to domestic sugar users, the Secretary of Agriculture should gradually increase the size of the tariff-rate quota so that the resulting domestic sugar prices are more consistent with the estimated minimum prices for avoiding sugar loan forfeitures.|
|Office of the U.S. Trade Representative||To better ensure that the tariff-rate quota is completely filled and better reflects world market conditions for raw sugar, the USTR should consider changing the process for allocating the tariff-rate quota in a way that is consistent with U.S. trade agreements while ensuring that any administrative changes are not unduly burdensome. Changes could include such actions as providing a means of reallocating unfilled quota or selecting an entirely new basis for allocating quota shares.|