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Perdue, CFA: Mexico sugar agreement sets tone for NAFTA


In response to today’s announcement by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Mexico’s Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal on the successful conclusion of the Suspension Agreements on Sugar from Mexico, influential members in agriculture gave their nod of approval.

Secretary Sonny Perdue had this to say:

“This agreement protects American workers and consumers and marks a dramatic improvement for the U.S. sugar industry.  The accord sharply reduces the percentage of Mexican refined sugar that may be imported into the United States and also lowers the polarity dividing line between refined and raw sugar.  We also achieved better pricing agreements for the industry.  And significantly, the agreement requires that raw Mexican sugar be shipped flowing freely in the holds of ocean-going vessels, rather than being shipped in packages or by land.  Finally, it is of great importance that USDA will have the flexibility to protect the U.S. sugar industry by making polarity adjustments in the event of extraordinary or unforeseen circumstances.  These are important wins in the negotiations, and I congratulate President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for their tenacity.

“The agreement prevented potentially significant and retaliatory actions by the Mexican sugar industry and sets an important tone of good faith leading up to the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  I maintain that if the rules are fair and the playing field is level, American agricultural products will succeed, thrive, and lead the way.”

John Bode, President and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association, commented:

“This is a great day for American jobs.  In this Administration’s first major negotiation with Mexico, Secretary Ross succeeded in protecting against unfair trade practices and maintained vulnerable export markets.  With both sides demanding more, he coolly pursued the broader public interest.  Thanks to his leadership, U.S. sugar interests have much stronger protections than the previous Suspension Agreements without threatening the $500 million in U.S. corn sweetener exports to Mexico that support 4,000 U.S. jobs.

As good as this success is, it is also an excellent sign for the coming NAFTA negotiations.  Today’s announcement sets a thoughtful tone and positive posture for modernizing NAFTA.”


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