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H.R. 1714 (114th): Sugar Reform Act of 2015

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 26, 2015.

Sugar Reform Act of 2015

This bill revises the Department of Agriculture (USDA) sugar program to decrease price support levels and make other modifications.

The bill amends the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 to decrease the rate for price support loans to processors of domestically grown sugarcane and sugar beets. The loan rate is the price level at which processors can take out loans.

The bill amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 to require USDA to set the marketing allotments at a level appropriate to maintain adequate domestic supplies at reasonable prices. The allotments limit the amount of sugar that each processor may sell. The allotments may be suspended or modified based on: (1) the interests of consumers, workers, businesses, and agricultural producers; and (2) the relative competitiveness of domestically produced and imported foods containing sugar.

In setting import quotas necessary to comply with trade agreements, USDA must:

set the quotas at no less than the minimum level necessary for compliance, adjust the quotas to provide adequate domestic supplies at reasonable prices, establish and adjust quotas so that the ratio of sugar stocks to total sugar use at the end of the year will be approximately 15.5% or the target necessary to prevent unreasonably high prices or forfeitures, and permit the temporary transfer of quotas between countries. The bill amends the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to repeal the Feedstock Flexibility Program for Bioenergy Producers, which requires USDA to purchase sugar from domestic processors and sell it to bioenergy producers for biofuel production.