ITC rules against Mexican sugar industry in dumping case

By Daniel Enoch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2015 - The U.S. International Trade Commission today affirmed that Mexico's sugar industry had harmed American producers by selling subsidized sugar onto the U.S. at below market prices - a practice known as “dumping.”

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The 6-0 ruling means that an agreement signed by the U.S. and Mexican governments to establish a trading structure that caps Mexican imports and stop Mexico's abuses will remain in effect for at least five years, the American Sugar Alliance said in a release.

"U.S. sugar producers want NAFTA to operate as intended and to foster free and fair sugar trade between Mexico and the United States," said Phillip Hayes, a spokesman for the U.S. sugar industry, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement. "Today's ruling helps accomplish that goal by upholding the governments' agreement and addressing the unfair trade practices that were injuring American farmers, workers, and taxpayers."

Hayes explained that the ITC vote, "validates the serious claims made by sugar producers when they first filed cases against Mexico in March 2014."

The ITC and U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) launched antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into Mexico's sugar industry shortly after the cases were brought.

The DOC inquiry concluded on Sept. 16 and found that Mexico's sugar industry had benefitted from subsidy rates up to 44 percent and had shipped sugar to the United States at dumping margins of more than 42 percent. The ITC finished its examination today, ruling that these actions materially injured U.S. interests.

U.S. sugar refineries and big users of the sweetener had said a ruling such as the ITC released today would limit supplies and keep sugar prices artificially high.

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