WASHINGTON — Sugar producers from the U.S. have petitioned the government to take actions against the Mexican sugar industry for “dumping subsidized sugar onto the U.S. market and inflicting harm on U.S. growers and taxpayers.”
The American Sugar Coalition, which includes eight U.S. beet and cane growers and refiners groups, filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce alleging the Mexican sugar industry shipped sugar to the United States at dumping margins of 45% or more and has received substantial subsidies from Mexican federal and state governments. The filings claim Mexico’s actions will cost U.S. sugar producers about $1 billion in net income for the current 2013-14 crop year.
The North American Free Trade Agreement gives Mexico the right to export sugar to the United States both tariff-free and quota-free, “but does not give the Mexican industry the right to export surplus to the U.S. market at dumped prices, nor does it permit the (Mexican government) to subsidize its sugar industry without regard to the impact of those subsidies on U.S. producers.” the petitions said. (NAFTA also gives the U.S. the right to export corn sweeteners or sugar to Mexico on the same tariff-free and quota-free basis.)
The Mexican government owns about 20% of the sugar mills in Mexico.
NAFTA permits the filing of antidumping and countervailing duty cases with 31 having been filed by Mexico against the U.S. and 30 filed by the U.S. against Mexico since the agreement went into effect.
Mexican sugar exports accounted for about 18% of U.S. sugar supply in 2012-13 versus 9% in 2011-12.