Washington — A representatives from an NCA member company testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission today to highlight the importance of Mexican sugar imports to the confectionery industry.
The hearing was spurred on by an anti-dumping and countervailing duties investigation of sugar from Mexico filed by the American Sugar Coalition this past month
Proponents of free trade with Mexico say U.S. sugar prices soared well above the already high world price between 2009 and 2012 because of changes made to the U.S. sugar program in 2008. This incentivized growers in Mexico and the U.S. to increase production — in turn building a surplus that led to the lower prices U.S. and Mexican growers are experiencing now. The real culprit, they argue, is not Mexico; it’s the outdated sugar program.
“One cannot claim that imports from Mexico reduced U.S. sugar production or the market share of U.S. producers,” says Tom Early, vice-president of Agralytica, Inc. “Where we are now is well within the parameters of how the government-managed U.S. sugar market normally behaves.”
Tim Jones, senior manager, procurement & operations for Just Born, Inc., testified at the hearing that U.S. sugar growers are unable to produce enough to meet this country’s needs. “Restrictions on Mexican imports will harm our company, as well as many other companies operating in the United States that depend on a consistent, reliable supply of sugar,” he added.