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April 4, 2017
The American Sugar Alliance (ASA) is the national coalition of sugarbeet and sugarcane growers, processors, and refiners. The U.S. sugar-producing industry generates 142,000 jobs in 22 states and $20 billion in annual economic activity.
American sugar policy is working well for American consumers, food manufacturers, and taxpayers. It can provide an adequate economic safety net for American sugar producers, as long as there is an effective response to Mexican subsidizing and dumping.
The U.S. International Trade Commission, in 2014 and 2015, voted unanimously that the Mexican government and sugar industry had injured the U.S. sugar industry. The U.S.
Department of Commerce calculated subsidy and dumping margins totaling more than 80%. Rather than imposing those duties, the U.S. and Mexican governments negotiated Suspension Agreements (SAs) to resume duty-free trade, but eliminate harmful dumping.
These SAs have proven ineffective. The dumping continues and U.S. refined sugar prices are hovering near loan-forfeiture levels. Hawaii has ceased cane sugar production and a beet factory in Wyoming is about to close. Many other American sugar producers are financially vulnerable.
We are encouraging the U.S. and Mexican governments to correct the shortcomings of the SAs or, failing that, to impose the subsidy and dumping duties.
As long as an adequate response to foreign subsidies and dumping exists, U.S. sugar policy can function effectively.