The Sugar Act of 1764, also titled the American Revenue Act of 1764, was passed on April 5, 1764. The new act renewed the ineffective Sugar and Molasses Act of 1733, which was about to expire.
Under the Molasses Act, the colonial merchants paid six pence per gallon for imported molasses. The intent of this tax was to make British molasses cheaper than foreign molasses. However, the colonial merchants evaded the tax and used cheaper French molasses in their products. This undercut the intention of the tax.
Lord Grenville renewed the Molasses Act through the New Revenue Act in 1764 and made some changes. In this act, he lowered the cost of molasses to three pence and proceeded to tax other products such as sugar, wines, coffee, etc. It also limited the locations in which the colonials could trade. This hurt other industries, such as lumber, cheese, and flour, and cut the colonial economy in half.