US-Mexico Sugar Trade Suspension Agreement

01.02.2017

Efforts to revise the 2014 U.S.-Mexico sugar trade suspension agreement have been lengthy and unresolved issues remain. The U.S. has tried to get Mexico to agree to a proposed solution but to date Mexico has not accepted, despite the U.S. offering Mexico a proposal of which Mexico has not yet responded.

Mexico is the top supplier to the U.S. sugar industry and negotiators from both countries are in talks to the suspension agreement that prescribes the balance of raw and refined sugar that heads to the U.S. to ensure refiners have what they need. Among the terms that the some in the U.S. sugar industry have proposed to Mexico are clauses that specify what type of refiner can receive Mexican imports under the deal.

The U.S. Department of Commerce in preliminary findings from a review of the 2014 U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty suspension agreements involving exports of sugar from Mexico to the U.S. released Nov. 29, 2016, indicated some transactions may be out of compliance with the agreement, among other issues.

But Commerce said it had not yet found a sufficient basis to make a reliable judgment as to whether the Government of Mexico and the Mexican respondent mills have adhered to the terms of the agreements and whether they continue to meet the requirements. The Commerce has delayed several times its final review of the matter, with the latest date said to be April.

Sugar trade between the two countries, absent any updated trade suspension agreement, would be impacted should the NAFTA accord be revised or if the U.S. officially withdraws from the pact. If so, Mexico would not be able to send much sugar to the U.S. as the U.S. sugar import quota was established during a time when Mexico did not sell much sugar to the U.S.


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