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Senators Urge Administration to Avoid New Restraints on Mexican Sugar

Jul 30, 2014
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

A bipartisan group of 17 U.S. senators, led by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), expressed concern this week about a potential administration agreement with Mexico that would increase sugar prices in the United States. In a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the senators spoke against the agreement, saying it could threaten the viability of American food manufacturers and raise food prices for American families.

“We are concerned by reports that the Department of Commerce may resolve the recently filed antidumping and countervailing duty cases on imported sugar from Mexico by imposing import quotas on Mexican sugar via a suspension agreement with the Mexican sugar industry and Government of Mexico,” the letter said. “Any managed trade agreement between the United States and Mexico, whether in the form of a suspension agreement or other mechanism, will raise sugar prices in the United States. This will cost American jobs, hurt consumers and encourage retaliatory trade actions to the detriment of both the United States and Mexico.”

The Coalition for Sugar Reform, of which IDFA is a member, applauded the senators’ call to avoid new restraints on Mexican sugar in answer to the petitions filed earlier this year by U.S. sugar producers. The Coalition represents consumer, trade and commerce groups, manufacturing associations, food and beverage companies that use sugar, and trade associations for these industries.

Shaheen and Toomey have led a bipartisan effort, along with Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), to reform the outdated U.S. sugar program, which has cost consumers and businesses an estimated $14 billion since 2008 and led to a $250 million taxpayer-funded sugar industry bailout last year.

In addition to Shaheen, Toomey and Kirk, the other senators who signed the letter are Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Boozman (R-AR), Robert Casey (D-PA), Daniel Coats (R-IN), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mike Lee (R-UT), John McCain (R-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at

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