IDFA and other members of the Coalition for Sugar Reform sent a letter to key federal officials on Tuesday, urging the administration not to enter into negotiations with Mexico on a managed trade agreement in response to a petition filed by U.S. sugar producers against U.S. imports of Mexican sugar.
The producers filed the petition in March with the International Trade Commission and the International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce claiming that the government of Mexico is subsidizing and dumping sugar in the United States. The petition requested countervailing duties and antidumping duties to be placed on imports of sugar from Mexico. The Department of Commerce decided in June to extend its deadline for completing a preliminary determination until August 25.
Hearing 'Troubling Rumors'
“We have heard troubling rumors about pressure being applied on the Administration to consider the negotiation of a managed trade agreement between the Governments of Mexico and the United States,” the group wrote in the letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. “We oppose managed trade in principle, especially between the United States and one of its NAFTA partners. Such an agreement would be particularly inappropriate in the case of sugar, a U.S. industry that already receives tremendous government protection from market forces at the expense of U.S consumers and U.S. taxpayers.”
Coalition members said a managed trade agreement that restricts trade would run counter to the shared objective of completing a comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. U.S. negotiators likely would have a difficult time demanding comprehensive access for U.S. exports to the markets of all TPP partners if the United States rolled back some of the trade liberalization enacted in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada. Opening market access to U.S. dairy products in Canada through the TPP negotiations is particularly important to IDFA.
The letter also expressed concern about the potential for retaliation against U.S. exports to Mexico. Read the July 15 press release here.
The Coalition for Sugar Reform is a broad-based group of consumer, trade, manufacturing, taxpayer watchdog, and food and beverage organizations. The members are:
- American Bakers Association
- American Beverage Association
- American Frozen Food Institute
- Chicago Area Retail Bakers Association
- Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
- Food Marketing Institute
- Grocery Manufacturers Association
- Independent Bakers Association
- International Dairy Foods Association
- National Confectioners Association
- National Foreign Trade Council
- National Consumers League
- Retail Bakers of America
- Snack Food Association
- Sweetener Users Association
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org