The American Bakers Association (ABA) reports that it, along with members of the Coalition for Sugar Reform, urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on July 16 to resist pressure to enter into a “managed trade” agreement with the Mexican government that may severely dampen their ability to export sugar into the United States. The potential agreement stems from a trade case accusing Mexican growers of dumping sugar in the U.S.
“We are keenly aware that domestic Big Sugar special interests are pressuring both the United States and Mexican governments to bypass the legal process and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in order to slow the flow of sugar entering into the U.S.,” says Cory Martin, ABA director of government relations. “Mexico is currently the only country that can fulfill U.S. food producer demand once the restrictive quotas are met due to the archaic U.S. Sugar Program. If control of sugar exports from Mexico are placed in the hands of Big Sugar, supply will always fall short of demand, and we will undoubtedly face a similar situation that bakers faced from 2009 to 2012—record high prices with further incentives to move production and jobs offshore.
“It’s interesting that Big Sugar would file a case claiming damage to the domestic industry in light of record profits and increasing market share, then seek a deal to not allow the case to be seen through until a final determination is made next spring. It is critical to bakers and all sugar users that this case be allowed to continue, since we believe the Mexican growers will be found blameless come spring 2015. We urge all parties involved in the case to not circumvent regular order and to allow proceedings to be properly seen through to the end.”