WASHINGTON—The damage caused by dumped and subsidized sugar imports from Mexico—including depressed domestic prices, lost revenue to U.S. producers, and approximately $260 million in taxpayer expenses—was detailed in a nearly 200-page government report issued June 9.
The report, published by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), explained the ITC’s reasoning for its recent preliminary determination that unfair trading practices by Mexico are harming U.S. interests. That ruling came in a 5 to 0 vote by commissioners on May 9.
Specifically, the ITC found that Mexico has substantially increased sugar shipments to the United States; a significant portion of that sugar was sold below a fair market price; this flood of dumped and subsidized sugar depressed U.S. prices; and the resulting market conditions harmed U.S. sugar producers and U.S. taxpayers after government actions were necessary to keep the market from collapsing under the surge of subsidized Mexican imports.
The Department of Commerce (DOC) is also investigating subsidy and dumping actions by Mexico as part of an antidumping and countervailing duty case, and it is expected to issue a preliminary judgment before Aug. 25.
Phillip Hayes, a spokesman for the American Sugar Alliance, said that the DOC’s and ITC’s ongoing investigations should be considered as the U.S. House of Representatives begins debate of an agriculture appropriations measure this week.
“Some special interest groups, namely Big Candy lobbyists, routinely try to gut U.S. sugar policy with unnecessary amendments,” he said. “This would make it very hard for efficient U.S. farmers to survive as inefficient Mexican producers dump subsidized sugar on our market. Essentially, Big Candy wants to reward Mexico for its bad actions.”
Congress has already rejected eight anti-sugar amendments since 2012.
“If lawmakers are interested in protecting taxpayers and promoting a market where the most efficient producers thrive instead of the most subsidized, then they will reject any attack on sugar policy and let the government investigations into Mexico run their course,” Hayes concluded.