ITC: Dumped Mexican Sugar Harming U.S. Farmers, Taxpayers

American businesses and taxpayers have been harmed by the unfair trading practices of Mexico’s sugar industry, which has dumped subsidized sugar onto the U.S. market, according to a preliminary ruling today by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

U.S. sugar producers filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions with the ITC in March claiming that Mexico’s actions will cost the industry $1 billion this year.  The petitions further noted that efforts by U.S. government officials to keep the market from collapsing under the surge of subsidized Mexican imports cost taxpayers $278 million in FY2013.

DOC Initiates Investigation Into Mexican Sugar Subsidies, Dumping

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) today announced that it would initiate an investigation to determine if the Mexican government has subsidized Mexico’s sugar production and whether that sugar is being dumped into the U.S. market. A group of U.S. sugar producers filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against Mexico’s sugar industry on March 28, and they applauded DOC’s decision. “It is clear that the petitions have merit in the eyes of the U.S. government,” said Phillip Hayes, a spokesperson for the American Sugar Alliance. “Considering what’s currently happening in the market, we are hopeful that corrective action will be taken as soon as possible.”

U.S. Sugar Producers File Antidumping, Subsidy Cases Against Mexico

America’s sugar producers today asked the United States government to take corrective action against Mexico’s sugar industry for dumping subsidized sugar onto the U.S. market and inflicting harm on U.S. growers and taxpayers.

The antidumping and countervailing duty petitions filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce allege that the Mexican industry has shipped sugar to the United States at dumping margins of 45 percent or more and has received substantial subsidies from Mexican federal and state governments.

U.S. Sugar Producers Set Sights on Foreign Subsidies

With a strong five-year sugar policy at their side, U.S. sugar producers are now setting their sights on addressing the foreign sugar subsidies that make U.S. sugar policy necessary. That’s according to Jack Roney, director of economics and policy analysis for the American Sugar Alliance (ASA), who spoke today at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum. “U.S. sugar producers are among the most efficient in the world, and we would thrive in a global free market, if one existed,” he explained. “But historically, sugar has been and continues to be the world’s most distorted commodity market because of foreign subsidization. Something must be done about it.”

New Five-Year Sugar Policy Becomes Law

President Barack Obama today officially signed the 2014 Farm Bill, and with it, continued America’s current sugar policy for another five years. Sugar producers applauded the new law, which overcame tremendous obstacles to ultimately unite leaders from both political parties.

The sugar industry also noted its appreciation for the signing ceremony being held in Michigan, which is home to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D)…

American Sugar Alliance Applauds House Farm Bill Approval

Following today’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to approve the 2014 Farm Bill conference report, the American Sugar Alliance issued the following statement. “Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should be commended for putting together a bipartisan Farm Bill compromise capable of winning overwhelming support in the House. Farmers are now one step closer to having the peace of mind that a strong five-year Farm Bill brings…

ASA Statement on Loan Forfeitures

The American Sugar Alliance issued the following statement about today’s announcement that sugar was forfeited to the U.S. Department of Agriculture due to depressed sugar prices.

“A wave of unneeded, subsidized Mexican sugar has sent U.S. prices plummeting since 2010, and as a result, some sugar producers will be unable to repay government-backed operating loans with interest. It is unfortunate for America’s farmers and taxpayers that the United States has become a dumping ground for subsidized Mexican sugar, much of which is produced and owned by the Mexican government.

Food Trends: New Opportunities for Manufacturers and Consumers

From the International Sweetener Symposium:NAPA, Calif.—An ever-evolving food marketplace, driven by consumer demand and tastes, is creating new opportunities and challenges for food manufacturers, according to a panel of experts at the 30th International Sweetener Symposium.

“An overwhelming majority of Americans are receptive to positive messages about a healthful diet,” said Marianne Smith Edge, senior VP, nutrition & food safety, the International Food Information Council (IFIC). “But their willingness to believe food and health information is most influenced by their own research, as well as advice from friends and family before a qualified health professional.”

Momentum Building for ‘Zero-for-Zero’ Sugar Policy

Legislation introduced by Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) to end global sugar subsidies in favor of a free market has picked up key endorsements in recent weeks, including many conservative organizations and numerous lawmakers.

Yoho’s bill would instruct the administration to target the foreign sugar subsidies that are distorting world prices. Once foreign subsidies are eradicated, U.S. sugar policy would be eliminated.

Weakened Sugar Policy Would Have Profound Impact on Sugar Jobs, Little Impact on Food Company Employment

When both chambers of the United States Congress voted this summer to continue U.S. sugar policy, it was a big victory for the 142,000 jobs supported by the sugar industry, according to University of Maryland Professor Alexander Triantis. “A weakened sugar policy would have a profound effect on sugar related jobs,” he said today at the 30th International Sweetener Symposium. “But I’ve found no evidence that sugar price affects jobs in the sugar-using industry.”

ASA Statement on House Sugar Policy Vote

The American Sugar Alliance issued the following statement about today’s bipartisan vote in the United States House of Representatives to reject a Farm Bill amendment offered by Reps. Joe Pitts (R-PA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to gut America’s sugar policy.

“Once again, legislators have turned back attempts to reward heavily subsidized foreign sugar producers and leave America more dependent on other countries for a food staple.

ASA Statement On Senate Farm Bill Passage

The American Sugar Alliance issued the following statement about yesterday’s overwhelming vote to approve S. 954, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act.

“We commend Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS) for passing a bipartisan Farm Bill at a time when political bickering has become the norm. The fiscally responsible bill that emerged contains a strong sugar policy, and on behalf of the 142,000 Americans employed by the sugar-producing sector, we’d like to say, ‘Thank you.’

Sugar Farmers Remind Lawmakers of WWII Rationing

Every Capitol Hill office today received a personalized replica of a 1940s-era sugar rationing coupon(front, back), compliments of the American Sugar Alliance (ASA). The delivery, which comes in the middle of Farm Bill deliberations, is intended to remind lawmakers about the consequences of again becoming dependent on foreign sugar supplies.

“Dependence on foreign sugar led to rationing during World War II. Don’t make the same mistake again by outsourcing our sugar production,” warned the mailer.

Brazil’s $2.5 Billion a Year Sugar Subsidies Exposed

A complex web of Brazilian government programs provides nearly $2.5 billion per year in sugar subsidies, giving Brazil a leg up on its competitors and distorting global prices, according to a new report released today.

“This report underscores the importance of maintaining the current U.S. sugar policy, which was designed to shield consumers from foreign market manipulation and ensure an affordable, homegrown supply of a food staple,” said Jack Roney of the American Sugar Alliance.

UMD Professor: Candy Industry Thriving Under Current Sugar Policy

U.S. Sugar Jobs Will Be Lost If Policy Is Weakened

WASHINGTON—Confectioners and other producers of sugar-containing products (SCP) are adding more jobs, growing revenues faster and achieving higher profitability than other food processing segments, according to a new report released today that examines the economic effects of U.S. sugar policy.

“The SCP industry has been faring very well under current U.S. policy,” found the report’s author, University of Maryland Professor Alexander J. Triantis, Ph.D. The findings stand in contrast to claims by candy industry lobbyists that sugar policy has caused economic hardship.

Sugar Surpluses Reach Decade High

The sugar surpluses that are overhanging the U.S. market, and sending sugar prices plunging, continue to rapidly climb, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Surplus stock figures for the year ending Sept. 30, 2012, increased from 1.7 million tons to 2 million tons, the USDA noted. Estimated surpluses for the year ending Sept. 30, 2013, grew from 1.6 million tons to 2.2 million tons.