Anger in Mexican sugar cane fields, harbinger of NAFTA risks

6/4/2017 Reuters

Cut_sugarcaneAnger is simmering across a lush swathe of Mexico among poor sugar cane farmers who face a major blow from trade talks in Washington on Monday, in an ominous preview of the high-stakes re-negotiation of the NAFTA agreement set to begin in August.

The United States and Mexico have until Monday to modify a 2014 agreement that set quotas and a price floor on Mexican sugar. U.S. sugar refiners say Mexico’s exports are subsidized, undercutting their business and that the agreement failed to stop dumping.

A new deal could significantly reduce access to the lucrative U.S. market for some 190,000 Mexican farmers, a fifth of whose sugar last year was sold to U.S. buyers, and risks triggering tit-for-tat tariffs that could hurt U.S. corn.

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