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Comment Period Extended on Mexican Sugar Suspension Agreements

Nov 13, 2014

The U.S. Department of Commerce posted last week its extension notice for comments on the draft agreements suspending the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on sugar from Mexico. The extension also applies to comments on the proposed scope of the investigations. The new deadline is November 18, and IDFA plans to submit comments.

IDFA is concerned that the proposed managed trade agreements would cause unduly high U.S. sugar prices and could jeopardize thousands of manufacturing jobs. IDFA and other members of the Coalition for Sugar Reform believe the agreements run counter to the shared objective of completing a comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. 

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced last month that it had initialed draft agreements with the government of Mexico and Mexican sugar exporters.  The agreements create mechanisms that would ensure that imports of Mexican sugar do not cause injury to U.S. sugar producers and would allow Mexican sugar to continue to enter the U.S. market without antidumping or countervailing duties.

Scope of Investigation

Currently the scope of the investigation includes raw sugar, standard or ‘‘semi-refined’’ sugar, refined sugar with a sucrose content by weight in a dry state that corresponds to a polarimeter reading of at least 99.9 degrees, brown sugar, liquid sugar, organic raw sugar and organic refined sugar.

Although the Commerce Department states that the investigation doesn’t include specialty sugars or processed food products, it does cover certain sugar products that contain mixtures of sugar and other ingredients, such as powdered sugar and colored sugar. Some companies have asked for further clarification on the scope of the investigation.

For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at bhughes@idfa.org.

 
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