Washington: In a bid to ease a supply shortage of sugar amid surging retail prices, the US has boosted its import quota for raw sugar by 120,000 tonnes including 1,421 tonnes from India. With the addition of 120,000 tonnes to the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for the 2011 fiscal year ending Sep 30, the quota now totals 1.676 million tonnes, the US Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday.
Sugar is the only major agricultural commodity produced in the US that is subject to import quotas. The limits were established to benefit domestic growers. Mexico became exempt from the quota in 2008 under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Announcing country-specific allocations of additional in-quota quantity of the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for imported raw cane sugar, the US Trade Representative (USTR) said TRQs allow countries to export specified quantities of a product to the US at a relatively low tariff, but subject all imports of the product above a pre-determined threshold to a higher tariff.