Mexico has until June 5 to comply with U.S. trade laws, or antidumping and countervailing duties of 80 percent will be imposed to stop the damage being caused by dumped and subsidized Mexican sugar.
If that were to happen, the United States has plenty of options for sourcing needed sugar from abroad.
There are dozens of foreign producers who responsibly and fairly supplied the U.S. market for the decades before Mexico began gaming the system. And those nations are justifiably angry about Mexico’s bad acts.
“The quota holders, although lacking legal standing, were equally harmed by Mexico’s unfair trade practices, as both the volume of access and market prices received were depressed,” the International Sugar Trade Coalition (ISTC) recently wrote in a letter to the U.S. Secretaries of Commerce and Agriculture about the harm done to their industries in 2013 and 2014.
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The ISTC represents producers from Barbados; Belize; the Dominican Republic; Fiji; Guyana; Jamaica; Malawi; Mauritius; Panama; the Philippines; Swaziland; and Zimbabwe.
In addition to that impressive list, there are other partners who are part of America’s tariff-rate quota (TRQ) system. Among them: Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; India; Mozambique; Nicaragua; Paraguay; Peru; South Africa; and Thailand.
And every one of them was harmed when Mexico started dumping mountains of subsidized sugar onto the U.S. market in 2013. That’s on top of the job loss and $4 billion in lost revenue that Mexico’s behavior inflicted on U.S. producers.
Despite being found guilty of violating U.S. trade laws, little has changed. Agreements put in place to stop Mexico’s trade abuses have been ineffective. Mexico continues to dump subsidized sugar, and producers from the United States and elsewhere continue to shoulder the consequences.
In other words, the people who have acted lawfully and responsibly all along have been punished, while Mexico has been rewarded for breaking the rules with coveted market share. And that has distorted the U.S. market and starved U.S. refineries of needed raw sugar supplies.
“The long history of the U.S. sugar program offers ample evidence of the reliability and readiness of quota holders to supply U.S. raw sugar requirements,” the ISTC letter concluded.
It’s good to know that America still has reliable trading partners on which it can depend.
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38 of America’s foreign sugar suppliers are developing countries and most support U.S. sugar policy.