The sugar provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) give Mexico access to the U.S. market – the same treatment as virtually all other products.
In the face of increased competition for market share, the U.S. sugar industry asked the U.S. government to limit sugar imports from Mexico through agreements to suspend the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties.
These “suspension agreements” – signed in December 2014 and June 2017 – created an unnecessarily high floor price for both raw and refined sugar imports from Mexico, as well as additional volume restraints on sugar imports.
As a result, U.S. sugar prices have been artificially forced up – and certain U.S. cane refiners and their workers have been injured – by this designed shortage of a newly defined polarity (i.e. purity) for cane sugar from Mexico. And Mexican companies have benefited from higher prices established by the suspension agreements.
Congress should recognize the negative impact that the suspension agreements have had on the American economy. Congress should fix the U.S. sugar program to ensure American food manufacturers can access adequate supplies of sugar at a fair price so they can sustain and create jobs and produce quality products at affordable prices.