WATCH: US and Mexico Attempt to Resolve Sugar Export Issues
Difficulties arose in April 2014 after complaints from American sugar stakeholders and the Department of Commerce initiated anti-dumping and countervailing duties investigations against Mexican sugar exports. In December 2014, Commerce entered into suspension agreements with the government of Mexico and Mexican sugar producers that suspended these investigations in exchange for Mexico limiting its exports and imposing minimum export prices on sugar sold to the United States.
US stakeholders soon raised fresh concerns about a shortage of raw sugar supplies and price suppression in the refined sugar market allegedly caused by flaws in the suspension agreements. In February 2016, Commerce initiated an administrative review of the agreements. In June 2016, the US reentered negotiations with Mexico and the Mexican and domestic sugar industries to try to reach a long-term solution.
Since the opening of negotiations, some key issues remain unresolved, and the last round of talks with Mexican and U.S. stakeholders was in mid-December 2016.
Secretary Ross announced that the deadline for conclusion of the department’s was moved from April 4 to May 1. This extension, according to Ross, will allow more time for the United States and Mexico to reach agreement on a resolution of the issues identified with the current agreements.