Court vacates 2017 amendments to U.S.-Mexico sugar trade pact

 

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10/22/19 – Food Business News

By Ron Sterk

The U.S. Court of International Trade in New York on Oct. 18 vacated the 2017 amendments to the 2014 agreements that suspended sizable anti-dumping and countervailing duties on U.S. imports of sugar from Mexico. In both rulings (vacating the countervailing duty and the anti-dumping amendments), the court said, “The court concludes (1) that Commerce’s failure to follow the recordkeeping requirements of 1677f(a)(3) cannot be described as ‘harmless’ and (2) that the agency’s recordkeeping failure substantially prejudiced Plaintiff.”

The rulings leave the original 2014 “suspension agreements” in place, which had the refined/raw mix of sugar imports from Mexico at 53%/47%, the polarity for “other” sugar at 99.5 and reference prices for refined sugar at 26c a lb and for raw at 22.25c a lb. The 2017 amendments had adjusted the refined/raw import mix to 30%/70%, lowered the polarity for “other” sugar to 99.2 (thus 99.2 polarity and above was classified as refined sugar in the amendments), and raised the reference prices to 28c for refined and 23c for raw.

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Mexico to begin ratification process for USMCA trade deal

5/30/2019 – Associated Press

CaptureMexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says his government is beginning the process of ratifying the new North American trade agreement.

He says the documents will be presented to the Mexican Senate on Thursday.

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Canada takes a first step towards ratifying trade deal with U.S., Mexico

5/27/2019 – Reuters

By Kelsey Johnson and Steve Scherer

CaptureCanada took a first step toward ratifying a new North American trade agreement on Monday just three days ahead of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Ottawa to discuss passage of the treaty.

Mexico sees good chance USMCA trade deal will be ratified

5/22/2019 – Reuters

CaptureMexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Wednesday he saw a “good chance” that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade pact would be ratified.

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Mnuchin says deal on steel tariffs with Canada, Mexico is ‘close’

5/15/19 – Politico

CaptureBy Megan Cassella and Sabrina Rodriguez

The Trump administration is close to negotiating a solution to the steel and aluminum tariffs it imposed on its North American partners, a move that would mark a major step toward approval of the new NAFTA. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a Senate subcommittee hearing Wednesday that U.S. officials are “close to an understanding with Mexico and Canada,” on the tariffs, which have been in place for nearly a year. “It is a priority of ours.”

Pro-Trump Group Plans Tour to Build Support for NAFTA Rewrite

5/9/219 – Bloomberg

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Wikimedia Commons

By Jennifer Jacobs

A nonprofit group supporting Donald Trump plans to organize a tour of key electoral battleground states to try to build public support for the president’s re-write of the North America Free Trade Agreement.

The tour will begin in Jacksonville, Florida, on May 20 with an event featuring Vice President Mike Pence, said Brian Walsh, president of America First Policies, a nonprofit linked to a super-PAC that backs Trump. Such nonprofits aren’t required to disclose their donors and are sometimes described as “dark-money” groups.

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Fight over Trump’s new NAFTA hits key stretch

5/7/2019 – The Hill

congressBy Alex Gangitano

Outside groups are boosting efforts to encourage lawmakers to pass President Trump’s revised North American trade deal ahead of a critical stretch this summer.

Getting approval for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has been a top priority for K Street, and publicly those groups are expressing optimism. 

Business groups have ramped up their lobbying, formed new coalitions and enlisted a number of prominent former lawmakers, including ex-Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), to push for passage.

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U.S. auto parts group MEMA urges passage of North American trade deal

5/3/2019 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, a major U.S. auto parts industry group, threw its weight behind U.S. President Donald Trump’s rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Thursday, urging Congress to approve the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) “without delay.”

MEMA, whose members employ about 871,000 workers – the most of any U.S. manufacturing sector – had previously not endorsed USMCA, a deal reached last year that significantly increases U.S. and North American value content for vehicles produced in the trade zone.

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Trump scrambles to salvage NAFTA rewrite, courting Democrats and trying to tamp down GOP fury

2/5/2019 – The Washington Post

President Trump and senior White House officials are working to salvage political support for a revised trade pact with Mexico and Canada, stunned by bipartisan blowback that appeared likely to scuttle a key initiative.

Several Democrats said Trump put on a charm offensive Tuesday during a White House meeting, soliciting their feedback on what he would need to do to win their support for an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

It was much different from the antagonistic approach he has taken with Democrats in recent weeks while they ramp up investigations into his finances and businesses. White House officials have said that Trump really wants the Canada-Mexico trade deal to be successful and that he knows he needs support from Democrats to achieve this.

“I think if you leave the White House today, the tone of the conversations were pretty good,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), who is locked in a separate battle with the White House over accessing Trump’s tax returns.

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Mulvaney rejects Democratic calls to renegotiate updated NAFTA

5/1/2019 – The Hill

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© Greg Nash

White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Tuesday rejected Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) demand to renegotiate elements of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, an update of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

If Pelosi does not bring the deal in its current form to the floor for a vote, Mulvaney said, the Trump administration would be more likely to leave things as they are or withdraw from NAFTA.

“You could stay status quo … which is just NAFTA. You could withdraw from NAFTA, which the president has talked about many, many times. Or you could go all the way back to the beginning and renegotiate from scratch with the Canadians, the Mexicans,” Mulvaney said at the Milken Institute Global Conference in California.

“I think it’s fair to say that last thing is probably unlikely to happen,” he added. “Your real two plan Bs are either NAFTA or withdraw from NAFTA.”

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