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Dairy Facts 2016

House Representatives Oppose Suspension Agreement in Mexican Sugar Case

Aug 06, 2014

Following recent action by their Senate counterparts, a bipartisan group of 63 U.S. House members this week urged administration officials not to negotiate a suspension agreement in the antidumping and countervailing duty cases on imports of sugar from Mexico. In a letter to Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, and Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, the legislators said an agreement “with the wrong terms” could hurt U.S. sugar manufacturers and their employees, as well as American consumers.

“Effectively closing the sugar trade between our countries – whether through high duties or a negotiated settlement that results in regulating prices between the U.S. and Mexican growers that are too high – could easily lead to retaliation against other U.S. products and cause the loss of U.S. jobs that rely on exports to Mexico, hurt consumers, and encourage unjustified trade actions in both Mexico and the United States,” the legislators said in the letter. 

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the U.S. sugar industry gained some of the highest prices ever received, the legislators said, which drove sugar production to expand in the United States and Mexico. In late 2012, however, sugar prices in the United States declined, eventually falling below the loan rates established in 2013 for the U.S. sugar program.

“The resulting emergency actions by the Department of Agriculture cost taxpayers $258 million.  The U.S. sugar industry’s response to the failure of its own over-regulated sugar program has been to blame Mexico,” the legislators added.

They urged officials to consider that the open market in sweeteners between the United States and Mexico was carefully negotiated and implemented over 15 years as an important part of NAFTA, and it should remain.

For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at or Chelsee Woodey, IDFA director of legislative affairs, at

Read the letter here.

The legislators who signed the letter are:

  • Mike Kelly (R-PA)
  • Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
  • Joe Pitts (R-PA)
  • Danny Davis (D-IL)
  • Peter Roskam (R-IL
  • Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
  • Charlie Dent (R-PA)
  • Jackie Speier (D-CA)
  • Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
  • Ann Kuster (D-NH)
  • Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
  • Ron Kind (D-WI)
  • Todd Young (R-IN)
  • Brad Schneider (D-IL)
  • Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
  • Patrick Meehan (R-PA)
  • Ann Wagner (R-MO)
  • Richard Hanna (R-NY)
  • Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
  • Larry Buschon (R-IN)
  • Frank Pallone (R-NJ)
  • Randy Forbes (R-VA)
  • Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
  • Peter Visclosky (D-IN)
  • Frank Wolf (R-VA)
  • Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
  • Andy Harris (R-MD)
  • Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
  • Phil Roe (R-TN)
  • Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)
  • Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN)
  • Jim Moran (D-VA)
  • Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
  • John Garamendi (D-CA)
  • Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
  • Steve Womack (R-AR)
  • Steve Chabot (R-OH)
  • Chris Collins (R-NY)
  • Andy Barr (R-KY)
  • Bob Latta (R-OH)
  • David Joyce (R-OH)
  • Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
  • Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
  • Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
  • Mark Amodei (R-NV)
  • Barbara Lee (D-CA),
  • Mike Quigley (D-IL)
  • Lou Barletta (R-PA)
  • Susan Brooks (R-IN)
  • Bill Foster (D-IL)
  • Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)
  • Bill Johnson (R-OH)
  • Matt Cartwright (D-PA)
  • Joe Heck (R-NV)
  • Derek Kilmer (D-WA)
  • Tom Marino (R-PA)
  • Chris Stewart (R-UT)
  • Chris Smith (R-NJ)
  • Bill Shuster (R-PA)
  • Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Denny Heck (R-NV)
  • Keith Rothfus (R-PA)
  • Scott Perry (R-PA)
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