The US sugar industry today announced its support for the “agreement of principles” reached earlier this month to resume imports of Mexican sugar into the US.
The American Sugar Alliance, which represents US sugar producers, said it will back the agreement announced June 6 in Washington by US Commerce Secretaries Wilbur Ross and Mexico’s Ildefonso Guajardo.
“We had productive talks with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last week and we believe he is one hundred percent dedicated to ending the loss of employment and damage caused by Mexico’s predatory trade practices,” he said in a statement. The spokesman for the organization, Philip Hayes.
According to Hayes, “for too long” Mexico was allowed to “circumvent” US trade laws.
For his part, in another statement, Ross was “pleased” that all parties involved agree that the new agreement on sugar “is fair.”
The dispute dates back to 2014, when US trade authorities concluded an investigation into unfair competition and subsidies on Mexican sugar, and the International Trade Commission found that those imports hurt local producers.
That same year, the US reached a compromise with the Mexican government and producers that allowed the suspension of countervailing duties, but protests by US producers led the Commerce Department to declare in December 2016 that the pact “might not Be working “.
As a result, Mexican authorities announced in March that they had temporarily stopped sugar exports to the United States to avoid sanctions, and that same month, Ross agreed with Guajardo to resume negotiations to change agreements on the issue.
Thanks to this “agreement of principles” reached now, Guajardo explained at the time that “free access” of Mexican sugar to the US market will be maintained and said that the difference is centered on the division between the percentage of refined sugar versus crude On the total volume.
Previously, 60% was raw sugar versus 40% refined, while now it will be 70% crude and 30% refined.
These talks on sugar have been considered as a prologue to the renegotiation of the NAFTA trade treaty, which has been in force since 1994 and has been severely criticized by US President Donald Trump, who accuses Mexico of taking advantage of the US market .