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  May 4th, 2017 | Written by

Department of Commerce Warns Mexico on Sugar Imports

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  • The Commerce Department notified Mexico it will resume the collection of duties on sugar imports.
  • Commerce found Mexico dumped sugar in US in 2014.
  • A US-Mexico agreement from 2014 suspended AD and CVD duties on imports of sugar from Mexico.

After negotiations reached an impasse earlier this week, the Department of Commerce formally notified the Government of Mexico its intention to resume the collection of antidumping and countervailing duties on sugar imports on June 5, 2017, unless an agreement is reached.

If no agreement is reached by June 5, 2017 then the antidumping and countervailing duty orders that are presently suspended will become operative and cash deposits on imports will be required.

“While I regret that such measures were needed, it is my hope that Mexico and the United States can reach a fair agreement before June,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

In March, Ross met with his Mexican counterpart for negotiations to avert punitive measures by the US.

The controversy dates back to 2014, when the Commerce Department reached final affirmative determinations in antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations regarding sugar imported from Mexico. The International Trade Commission found that the US industry was being injured as a result of imports of sugar from Mexico.

But that same year, an agreement was signed with the Government of Mexico and Mexican sugar producers that suspended AD and CVD duties on imports of sugar from Mexico.

In 2016, the American Sugar Coalition raised concerns with Commerce about the operation of the agreements, and petitioned Commerce to formally review whether the agreements continue to meet the applicable requirements of US law. In December, 2016 Commerce issued preliminary findings that the agreements may not be working.

In March of 2016, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. and his Mexican Counterpart Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal announced a renewed effort to resolve ongoing issues with Mexican sugar export and anti-bunching limits. Apparently, the talks that started then have not produced the desired results.