As the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations move toward the final stages of completion, IDFA and other members of the Coalition for Sugar Reform this week encouraged U.S. officials to reach a comprehensive agreement that would significantly expand U.S. sugar imports. In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the coalition members said providing additional sugar market access is a key ingredient for obtaining a balanced TPP agreement.
“Consumers and food companies currently face severe restrictions on both domestic sugar production and imports that insulate U.S. sugar producers almost entirely from normal market pressures,” the coalition said in the letter. “This system guarantees sugar companies many years of excessively high prices, at times nearly twice the world price, and has cost American consumers and businesses an estimated $15 billion since 2008 alone in artificially inflated prices.”
The coalition said unless the United States allows commercially meaningful access to TPP countries that have the ability to supply the U.S. market, Americans can expect domestic sugar supplies to remain tight for the next several years. By denying real access to TPP trading partners, the United States will be vulnerable to refusals from other countries to open their markets to valuable American agricultural commodities.
The chief negotiators for TPP will meet July 24-27 in Maui, Hawaii. The next ministerial meeting is scheduled for July 28-29, also in Maui.
Read the letter here.
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.