Mexico, US reach agreement on sugar trade

Deal not accepted by US sugar industry, will be discussed in coming days, US secretary of commerce says

Mexico, US reach agreement on sugar trade

World Bulletin / News Desk

Mexico and the U.S. on Tuesday reached an agreement in principle that would end a three-year bilateral dispute over sugar trade.

Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the agreement during a news conference in Washington.

Under the deal, Mexico agreed to reduce its refined sugar exports to 30 percent from 53 percent, in exchange for the suspension of dumping and subsidy investigations.

Since 2014, U.S. sugar manufacturers have protested imports of refined Mexican sugar, alleging the Mexican industry receives subsidies from federal governments and sends sugar up north at dumped prices.

"The agreement would allow Mexico to maintain its position as the main supplier of sugar to the United States market without paying compensatory tariffs imposed by unfair investigations," Guajardo said during an interview with Televisa network on Tuesday.

In addition, the price of raw sugar would rise from 22.25 cents per pound to 23 cents, while the price of refined sugar would increase from 26 cents per pound to 28 cents, Guajardo said.

Ross said the agreement have not been accepted by the U.S. sugar industry but that it will be discussed in the coming days.

The agreement comes as the United States, Mexico and Canada are ready to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with formal negotiations expected to begin in August.

Both Ross and Guajardo agreed that the sugar negotiations have allowed the two countries to get to know each other better, which can facilitate the modernization of NAFTA.

The free trade agreement has been heavily criticized by President Donald Trump, who announced late April he would seek to renegotiate its terms rather than scrap the deal.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Haziran 2017, 10:11