The United States has a long history of Government involvement in the sugar industry, first in 1789 to finance Government operations, and then since 1894 to maintain a viable domestic sugar industry by protecting it during periods of low sugar prices. Most recently, the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 mandated a price support program for the 1982 through 1985 sugarcane and sugarbeet crops. Sugar use has continued its decade-long downtrend as a result of replacement by less costly corn sweeteners and noncaloric sweeteners in many food and beverage products. Domestic consumption of sugar has declined 20 percent between 1977 and 1983, domestic production has increased, and world production remains at surplus levels as sugar remains one of the major sources of revenue for developing countries. World sugar prices are currently depressed, averaging 4 cents a pound in August 1984.