U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued a statement regarding a new agreement between the United States and Mexico regarding the importation of Mexican sugar. The U.S. Department of Commerce has been reviewing a 2014 agreement with the government of Mexico and the Mexican sugar refiners that suspended anti-dumping and countervailing duties on the import of Mexican sugar into the U.S. This 2014 Suspension Agreement contained limits on the amount and type of Mexican sugar that could be imported each year. The original date to reach a new agreement was Monday, June 5, 2017, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross extended the deadline to today, Tuesday, June 6, 2017.
Perdue’s statement is as follows:
“This agreement protects American workers and consumers and marks a dramatic improvement for the U.S. sugar industry. The accord sharply reduces the percentage of Mexican refined sugar that may be imported into the United States and also lowers the polarity dividing line between refined and raw sugar. We also achieved better pricing agreements for the industry. And significantly, the agreement requires that raw Mexican sugar be shipped flowing freely in the holds of ocean-going vessels, rather than being shipped in packages or by land. Finally, it is of great importance that USDA will have the flexibility to protect the U.S. sugar industry by making polarity adjustments in the event of extraordinary or unforeseen circumstances. These are important wins in the negotiations, and I congratulate President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for their tenacity.
“The agreement prevented potentially significant and retaliatory actions by the Mexican sugar industry and sets an important tone of good faith leading up to the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. I maintain that if the rules are fair and the playing field is level, American agricultural products will succeed, thrive, and lead the way.”