The United States maintains tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) for imports of raw cane sugar, refined sugar, specialty sugar, and sugar-containing products (SCPs). Pursuant to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, USDA establishes the total in-quota quantity of the TRQs for raw, refined, and specialty sugar for each fiscal year, while USTR is responsible for allocating the TRQs pursuant to the United States’ WTO commitments. In the case of the WTO raw sugar TRQ, USTR allocates the in-quota volume among certain supplying countries based on the countries’ historical shipments to the United States and consultations with quota-holding countries. USTR is also responsible for allocating any increase in the in-quota amounts and/or reallocating unused quota volumes to quota-holding countries.
Several free trade agreements (FTAs), including the CAFTA-DR and agreements with Chile, Colombia, Morocco, Panama, and Peru provide TRQs for a basket of sugar and syrup goods and SCPs, provided that the respective FTA partner has a trade surplus in these goods based on the most recent data available. In any calendar year, the size of our FTA partners’ TRQs for sugar and syrup goods and SCPs is the lesser of (i) the country’s global trade surplus in these goods, or (ii) the quantity specified in the FTA for that year. Each year, USTR determines and publishes in the Federal Register the amount (if any) of each FTA partner’s trade surplus.