Costa Rica Added To CAFTA

Published online: Jan 27, 2004
Carolyn Cheney, chair of the United States Sugar Industry Group, said this week that, "We fear further concessions on sugar imports as the Administration plans to link Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic into CAFTA." The Bush Administration's announcement that Costa Rica had been added only serves to heighten the U.S. sugar industry's opposition to the pact, which is seen as a template for future FTAs that could destory America's sugar growers. She said, "This development only adds to the burden placed upon the American sugar industry, which faces an alrady oversupplied market. The announcement further strengthens our resolve to work diligently to defeat the sugar provisions of the CAFTA. We continue to urge the Administration to address global sugar subsidies globally, in the World Trade Organization, not piecemeal in FTAs." Potato growers who also grow sugarbeets are very fearful that additional sugar imports--above those already allowed through quota allotments to over 20 sugar-producing countries around the world--will lead to a cut in beet acreage. This would force beet growers to plant more potatoes and further oversupply the potato or other commodity markets. The U.S. sugar industry produces less than half the country's sugar needs.