WASHINGTON—Today, US Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) released a statement on yesterday’s US Department of Commerce announcement of the Amended Sugar Agreement between the United States and Mexico. The Commerce Department is now seeking public comment on the agreement.
“I commend Secretary Ross for his efforts, and for working closely with us, in negotiating a deal that protects Louisiana sugar workers,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This is a positive development for US sugar growers, processors and refiners. This agreement will be beneficial for both the United States and Mexico, and will hopefully prevent future market manipulations.”
On June 6, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo announced an agreement in principle to amend the agreements suspending the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on sugar from Mexico. The draft amendments released yesterday reflect this agreement in principle and address the injury found to have been caused to the US sugar industry by sugar imported from Mexico.
Under the amendments, the amount of raw sugar imported from Mexico would increase from 47 percent to 70 percent, ensuring a greater supply of sugar for US sugar refiners.
In addition, the dividing line between raw and refined sugar would be reduced from a polarity of 99.5 to 99.2, thus ensuring that estandar sugar would be considered refined sugar subject to the refined price and a limit of 30 percent.
For additional needs sugar allocated after May 1, the dividing line would revert back to 99.5 polarity and the 70/30 ratio would not apply. In addition, all raw sugar imported into the US from Mexico must arrive freely flowing in bulk in the hold of an oceangoing vessel.
Finally, the minimum price of raw sugar would be increased from 22.25 cents per pound to 23 cents per pound, and the minimum price of refined sugar would increase from 26 cents per pound to 28 cents per pound.
Taken together, these amendments provide a significant improvement and are designed to address the concerns raised by the US sugar industry with the operation of the Suspension Agreements.
Yesterday, the Department placed, on the record of the suspension agreements, draft amendments to the agreements, as initialed by the signatories. The documents will be posted on the Department’s website (see link below) for review by the public.
The Department is inviting interested parties to submit comments through Enforcement and Compliance’s Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS) by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on June 21, 2017. Rebuttal comments, limited to those points raised in the initial comments, are due by 5 p.m. EDT on June 26, 2017. ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.
The Department will consider the comments and rebuttal comments before making its final decision with respect to the text of any finalized amendments. The Department is currently scheduled to sign final amendments to the agreements by June 30, 2017.
Use the below links to access the draft amendments, a fact sheet, and for more detailed information and submission instructions:
Submissions — https://access.trade.gov