U.S. Commerce chief extends Mexico sugar deadline, sees impasse

5/2/2017 Reuters

Sugar
Flickr/Coralie Ferreira

The Mexican and U.S. governments have agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations over a sugar trade agreement to June 5, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saying late Monday the talks were “at an impasse.”

In a statement, Ross said the Commerce Department notified Mexico’s government that the United States intended to resume collection of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on sugar imports starting June 5 unless an agreement is reached.

“While I regret that such measures were needed, it is my hope that Mexico and the United States can reach a fair agreement before June,” Ross said.

The orders were suspended, pending negotiations as a May 1 deadline passed.

Mexico’s economy ministry, the country’s top trade authority, weighed in late Monday with a statement that put the blame for the impasse squarely on the U.S. side.

“Excessive demands from U.S. producers and refiners have impeded the ability to reach a solution,” the ministry said, adding that U.S. negotiators continued to press for limits on Mexican raw sugar exports for U.S. refiners as well as ending “all competition” from Mexican refined sugar in the U.S. market.

The ministry said however it remained open to reaching a negotiated agreement.

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