Washington, DC (May 2, 2017) – The Sweetener Users Association (SUA) today released the following statement on the U.S. Commerce Department’s announcement regarding negotiations with Mexico on sugar imports from that country.
“As U.S. sugar-using companies, both large and small, our objective is to serve consumers and sustain and create American jobs. Doing so depends on ensuring that, as U.S. manufacturers, we can access a reliable and adequate supply of sugar at reasonable prices. The current U.S.-Mexico suspension agreements do the exact opposite.
“The agreements have distorted sugar markets through new constraints on supplies and higher sugar price floors than the ones Congress voted for in the last farm bill. They have also distorted the flow of raw and refined sugar from Mexico to the United States, leaving U.S. cane sugar refineries short of supplies, which means lack of supply for U.S. manufacturers.
“We continue to urge the United States and Mexico to overhaul these agreements to encourage a more competitive marketplace and support, not harm, U.S. manufacturers and the hundreds of thousands of Americans we employ across the country.
“When it comes to the bigger picture, whether the agreements are revised or the antidumping duties take effect on June 5, America’s sugar policy is clearly a mess. To ensure that sugar works not just for the sugar lobby, but also for hardworking American manufacturers and consumers, Congress must enact meaningful reforms to the federal sugar program in the 2018 farm bill.”
The United States is a net importer of sugar, and until the U.S. sugar industry filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases in February 2014, there was free trade in sugar between the United States and Mexico since early 2008. Mexico has become an integral part of the North American sugar trade and is a critical supplier of sugar to the United States.