American sugar policy has kept prices too high, according to a report by President George Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers.

The report said “because of the US tariff rate quota system on sugar imports, the domestic price of sugar has been approximately double the world sugar price over the last few years.” Other estimates peg the costs of American sugar protectionism at approximately US$1.5bn for consumers, and the loss of 10,000 jobs over a five-year period in various food industries.

The National Confectioners Association says it is “becoming increasingly hard for manufacturers to compete with product made overseas where world market priced sugar is available.”