On the recommendation of Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland, and in consultation with other Federal agencies, I am announcing the following actions:
—Effective January 21, 1978, all imported sugar will be subject to fixed fees of 2.7 cents per pound for raw sugar and 3.22 cents per pound for refined sugar, not to exceed 50 percent of the value of imported sugar.
—Directions have been given to the International Trade Commission to expand its investigation in imported sugar to determine whether sugar-containing products are being or will be imported in quantities and under conditions that will result in national interference to the sugar price support operations being conducted by the Department of Agriculture. I have asked that their report be completed as soon as possible and be accompanied by specific recommendations for corrective actions.
My decisions today address critical problems that have arisen since the issuance of my November 11 proclamation:
—Our price objectives for imported sugar are protected. Our objective on imported refined sugar is 4.0 cents a pound above the imported raw sugar price objective, an amount equal to the refining loss and refining costs.
—Current and prospective market conditions indicate that had we continued the system of variable fees, imported refined sugar would not be subject to import fees, and there would be strong incentives to import sugar in refined, rather than raw form. Refined sugar has been entering the United States at an unprecedented rate.
—Because I have instructed the International Trade Commission to conduct an investigation and report to me their recommendations, the fixed fees that I have announced are being implemented in a temporary program under emergency authorities.
—The fixed fee system eases the administrative burden, reduces the potential for price manipulation, and is familiar to the trade.
—If I find, based on the new fixed fee system, that efforts continue to be made to take advantage of the system, I will not hesitate to take even more stringent actions. The dumping of imported sugar on our domestic market will not be tolerated.