WASHINGTON, March 28, 2014— The American Sugar Coalition (ASC) filed an antidumping case against Mexico today, asking the federal government to take corrective action against the country for exporting subsidized sweetener into the U.S. market, harming America’s growers and taxpayers.

The antidumping and countervailing duty petitions filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission and Department of Commerce allege that the Mexican industry has shipped sugar to the U.S. at dumping margins of 45 percent or more and has received substantial subsidies from Mexico’s federal and state governments.

The ASC says Mexico’s actions will cost U.S. sugar producers almost $1 billion in net income for the 2013/2014 crop year.

Phillip Hayes, a spokesman for the American Sugar Alliance, one of the groups included in the coalition, praised U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA for taking actions to steady market conditions.

“Unfortunately, the unrelenting flood of dumped and subsidized sugar from Mexico has overwhelmed the U.S. market and USDA's efforts, and we've been left with no alternative but to file these cases,” Hayes said.

The North American Free Trade Agreement allows Mexico to export sugar to the U.S. on a tariff-free and quota-free basis, but the sugar industry argues that Mexico is shipping its surplus to the U.S. at prices below the cost of production and illegally subsidizing its sugar industry.

Mexico exports to the U.S. increased in recent years, rising from 9 percent of the U.S. market in 2011/2012 to nearly 18 percent in 2012/2013, ASC said.

The coalition added that U.S. prices have been cut in half since late 2011 and U.S. sugar policy also incurred a taxpayer cost in 2013, after running at no cost for the past 10 years, as USDA took actions to steady the market. 

“We are more efficient than Mexico's sugar industry and can compete with anyone in a free market,” Hayes said. “But it is hard for U.S. farmers to succeed when a subsidized industry that is largely government-controlled is dumping its product."

The sugar producers' petitions were officially filed by the American Sugar Coalition, which includes: American Sugarbeet Growers Association; American Sugar Cane League; American Sugar Refining Inc.; Florida Sugar Cane League; Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company; Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers Inc.; Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida; and United States Beet Sugar Association.

Graph provided by the American Sugar Alliance. 


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