One solution is to use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS); as the price of sugar rises, the compound becomes comparatively cheaper and thus more attractive to food manufacturers. However, as more customers become aware of the health dangers associated with HFCS, many food companies are shying away from it. In fact, even the soft drink industry -- long a bastion of HFCS -- has begun experimenting with new sugar-sweetened sodas.http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/08/13/sugar-shock-will-the-domino-effect-drive-up-food-prices/ (source for the above quote)
If there is a shortage, and the government won't lower tariffs, I would expect to see even more widespread use of high fructose corn syrup if sugar prices stay high. Corn prices have not increased nearly as dramatically as sugar over the past few years. Here's a chart of corn futures from tradingeconomics.com.
http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/08/not_so_sweet_sugars_price_is_skyrocketing.php (source for the second quote)
So, what does the future hold? Even more HFCS?
Some people believe it all comes back to lobbyists and bipartisan politics...
No one in the position to change the tariffs and price supports that contribute to the high price of sugar (and thereby make HFCS even more attractive to the food industry) is concerned with health issues.... it appears to be all about maintaining the support of powerful lobbyists...