August 23, 2017

Industry Groups React to Commerce Department’s “Agreement in Principle” on Sugar Trade with Mexico

In response to Tuesday’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, 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.”

A statement from U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Tom Sleight:

“We are pleased to hear that U.S. and Mexican negotiators have reached a new sugar suspension agreement. This milestone is an important one as we work to maintain our existing, robust trade of U.S. grains and related products while awaiting the beginning of NAFTA modernization negotiations.

“Mexico is a critical market for the U.S. grains industry – the top export destination for U.S. corn last year, the second largest buyer of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and an important market for U.S. sorghum and U.S. barley.

“The agreement announced today is part of a necessary foundation for negotiating with our neighbors and customers in good faith while helping to protect our existing duty-free access, high market share and U.S. jobs.”

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