The U.S. Department of Commerce announced it intends to end the antidumping and countervailing duty suspension agreements in place with Mexico over what it calls that country’s unfair trading practices. The department will impose duties on Mexican sugar imports beginning on June 5, unless the two countries can come to an agreement. Phillip Hayes, a spokesman for the American Sugar Alliance, says they are grateful the Department of Commerce is taking steps to bring Mexico into compliance with U.S. trade laws they were found guilty of breaking. However, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue told NAFB broadcasters in Washington that U.S. sugar refiners should be careful what they wish for. He feels the duties being threatened by the Commerce Department won’t help U.S. refiners. He adds that he won’t ask American sugar beet producers or cane farmers in Louisiana and Florida to do things that aren’t in their long-term best interests. “I’m not going to ask any of them to sign a deal that will put them out of business,” Perdue said, “but I do want them to think long and hard about the potential consequences.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.