The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) (the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)) is important to U.S. manufacturers that depend on sugar for their products and the Americans these companies employ.
NAFTA established free trade in sugar between the United States and Mexico beginning on January 1, 2008. Today, Mexico is a critical supplier of sugar to the United States, as is Canada.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Commerce took actions that essentially nullified the free trade in sugar with Mexico in December 2014 and again in the summer of 2017, in ways that limit needed sugar imports from Mexico. These modifications – also known as the U.S.-Mexico suspension agreements – help contribute to the estimated $3 billion American consumers pay annually to guarantee high profits for big sugar processors, at the expense of U.S. consumers and American food industry jobs.
SUA urges Congress to approve the USMCA. SUA also shares the concerns of the U.S. agriculture sector that national security (“Section 232”) tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico should be removed to mitigate the harm that retaliatory tariffs have inflicted on American farmers, food companies and workers.
SUA supports the modest additional access that is afforded to Canadian sugar and sugar-containing products under the USMCA. These provisions, while small in scope, will be helpful to food companies and their employees.