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


bakery baking blur close up
Photo by Pixabay on

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.

Read more…

U.S.-Mexico trade talks leave one top sugar company with sour taste

10/6/16 Reuters 

As the U.S. government reworks a supply deal with Mexico, a top player in one of the world’s largest sugar markets is crying foul and claims competitors are using the trade talks to deny it access to cheap Mexican sugar imports.

Mexico is the top supplier to the U.S. sugar industry and negotiators from both countries are in talks to change a 2014 trade pact that prescribes the balance of raw and refined sugar that heads north to ensure U.S. refiners have what they need.

But CSC Sugar LLC, which produces liquid sugar to sweeten ice cream and make frosted coatings, said the proposals would exclude it and others from the export quota allotted to Mexico.

Read more… 

Mexico Ready to Ship More Sugar to U.S. as Buyers Snub Beets

4/12/16 Bloomberg

Cut_sugarcaneMexico’s sugar chamber says the domestic industry has enough of the sweetener made from cane to ship to the U.S., as more American buyers shift away from supplies made from beets.

“The U.S. government is evaluating, and we are waiting” official supply estimates to see if the nation is “going to have bigger sugar requirements,” Juan Cortina, president of the chamber, said Monday in a telephone interview from Mexico City. U.S. industrial buyers are seeking more cane sugar because of fear of public backlash over genetically modified beets, used to make the bulk of domestically produced refined sweetener.

Prices for U.S. sugar made from cane have climbed 6.8 percent in 2016 as demand drops for the beet supplies. By contrast, world prices have slumped 5.6 percent. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will update its crop forecasts for production, imports and use on Tuesday.

While Mexico has no interest in renegotiating so-called suspension agreements signed in 2014 that set price limits and volume quotas, it has told U.S. authorities that it has between 300,000 and 500,000 metric tons of additional supply available should the country require it, Cortina said. The country is currently set to ship 1.2 million tons of sugar this season to the U.S. A Reuters report this month said that U.S. refiners were seeking to rework agreements settled in late 2014.

Read more… 

Mexico’s Soda Tax Is Working. The US Should Learn From It

07/13/15 Wired

sugarLast fall, Berkeley, California, became the first city in the United States to pass a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages—soda pop, sweetened teas, sugary juices, and energy drinks. Proponents say the tax will discourage the consumption of a nutrition-free, even dangerous category of beverage. Critics counter with claims of an over-reaching nanny state whose interventions will do nothing to curb rates of obesity and diabetes.

To figure out who’s right, it’d be nice to have some data. But before Berkeley passed its tax, 30 other cities and states across the US had tried to introduce similar measures and failed. Berkeley’s tax is certainly raising revenues, but it’s too soon to know whether consumption has gone down or overall public health has improved. Luckily, somewhere else has a year’s head start on taxing soda: Mexico.

Read more…

U.S., Mexico sign deal to end sugar spat, avert import duties

10/27/14 Reuters

sugarMexico and the United States reached a deal on Monday to avert potentially steep duties on Mexican sugar imports to the United States, defusing a months-long dispute that threatened to escalate into a major trade war. In the deal hammered out hours before U.S. regulators were going to slap penalties on Mexican imports, the U.S. Department of Commerce said that Mexican and U.S. officials and Mexican sugar exporters initialed a draft agreement that would suspend both anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties on the goods, if adopted in full.

Read More…

Mexico Aims for Agreement on Sugar Exports to U.S.

10/01/14 Wall Street Journal 

sugarMexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Wednesday that Mexico is seeking a negotiated settlement to a dispute over Mexican sugar exports to the U.S., but that failure to reach an accord could lead Mexico to take the case to the World Trade Organization. The U.S. government in August imposed preliminary tariffs on Mexican sugar imports following complaints by U.S. sugar growers that the Mexican government subsidizes the domestic industry, allowing Mexico to flood the U.S. market with cheap sugar, harming U.S. producers.

Read More…

Mexico fixes sugar import quota – trade

sugarReuters, 8/5/2009

Mexico is setting a refined sugar import quota, believed to be for 400,000 tons, and some of the sugar may already have been committed, trade sources said on Wednesday.

“We are just waiting on final official documents relating to precise tonnages, quality and shipping dates,” one trade source said.

Read More…

U.S. and Mexico need to smooth out sweetener trade

Photo by Flickr user Kidjay
Photo by Flickr user Kidjay
Reuters, 8/2/2009

Under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the U.S. and Mexico can transport unlimited amounts of sugar to one another. It started in 2008.

“If either market is oversupplied, it would be disastrous for producers and government costs,” Jack Roney, director of economics and policy analysis in industry group American Sugar Alliance, told Reuters at the start of the group’s annual meeting.

Read More…