Bakers’ Request for Additional Imports of Sugar Granted by USDA and Commerce Department

An urgent notification from the American Bakers Association (ABA) to the US Department of Agriculture moved the Department of Commerce today to increase the quantity of Mexican refined sugar permitted to be exported by 100,000 short tons. 

In a letter directed to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, ABA outlined the crucial need for a consistent source of refined sugar for production and market demand following abysmal sugar beet and sugar cane crop yields in the United States. According to USDA’s latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report from November 8, U.S. sugar production is expected to be 572,000 short tons, raw value (STRV) lower than previously expected due to recent and continuing adverse weather conditions in sugar-producing regions.

Because US sugar policy is based on a tightly controlled import market bound by tariff rate quotas (TRQ), ABA urged Secretary Perdue to utilize his authority and flexibility and move forward with upward adjustments to the import quotas for sugar to account for this decreased domestic production. 

“As one of the top sugar using industries, increasing the sugar TRQ allotment is critical to the wholesale baking industry, specifically bakers,” said Lee Sanders, ABA’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs. “Large, and especially smaller family bakers, need immediate access to refined sugar. They do not have the ability to freely seek out alternative supplies abroad.”

ABA is confirming the amount of sugar will be adequate for the industry’s needs while the USDA continues to monitor the market to assess whether sugar supplies are sufficient.

ABA’s letter to the USDA
USDA Statement on U.S. Sugar Market

The American Bakers Association (ABA) is the Washington D.C.-based voice of the wholesale baking industry. Since 1897, ABA has worked to increase protection from costly government overreach, build the talent pool of skilled workers with specialized training programs, and forge industry alignment by establishing a more receptive environment to grow the baking industry. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 1,000 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. ABA members produce bread, rolls, cookies, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas, and many other wholesome, nutritious, baked products feeding America’s families. The baking industry generates more than $153 billion in economic activity annually and employs more than 799,500 highly skilled people.