United States: ITC Report: allegedly subsidised Mexican sugar harms US industry

The US International Trade Commission (US-ITC) issued a 190-page report that stated, in its first paragraph, that “there is a reasonable indication that an industry (sugar) in the United States is materially injured by reason of imports of sugar from Mexico that are allegedly sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”) and allegedly subsidized by the Government of Mexico.”

The report, “Sugar from Mexico,” issued in early May, said imports of Mexican sugar had adversely affected sugar prices in the US in the period from October 2012 to December 2013. The ITC also points to the fact that the US Department of Agriculture had to spend some USD 258.7 million in order to buy about one million tonnes of domestic sugar, following procedures in  the Farm Bill.

The next step is for the US Department of Commerce to launch its own preliminary investigation, with a report expected by the ends of June, which would indicate whether there is cause to impose countervailing duties.

Media sources said the Mexican government has denied subsidies to sugar and that a potential “sugar war” may sour trade relations under the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which reaches its 20th anniversary. Mexican sugar producers said the US is exposing itself to an investigation on imports of fructose or HFCS.

ITC report “Sugar from Mexico”, Investigation Nos. 701-TA-513 and 731-TA-1249 (Preliminary), available here.


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