WASHINGTON- The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) today ruled that Mexico's sugar industry unfairly dumped subsidized sugar onto the U.S. market. Mexico's sugar industry was found to be dumping at margins of 40.48 percent to 42.14 percent and subsidized from 5.78 percent to 43.93 percent. Mexico's government-owned sugar mills were subsidized at 43.93 percent.
The final ruling upholds a preliminary finding made in 2014 and comes after an exhaustive U.S. government examination into Mexico's sugar industry. Phillip Hayes, a spokesman for the American Sugar Alliance, issued the following statement in response:
"The DOC’s finding validates our claim that U.S. farmers, workers, and taxpayers were harmed by subsidized Mexican sugar flooding the U.S. market. U.S. trade law exists to ensure that predatory trading practices like these don't drive efficient domestic industries out of business, and today proved that the process works. We expect a similarly positive outcome when the U.S. International Trade Commission issues its final ruling in the matter next month."
The DOC examines subsidies and dumping by foreign trading partners, whereas the ITC determines if such unfair trade actions financially harm American businesses. Todd Landry, an Iberia Parish sugarcane farmer, testified at an ITC public hearing about Mexico's sugar industry September 16. The ITC is scheduled to vote October 20.
The antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, which began last spring, were temporarily suspended following an agreement between the U.S. and Mexican governments in December. Those investigations recommenced earlier this year following an appeal.
If the ITC rules in the U.S. sugar industry's favor, the negotiated settlement between the two governments will remain in effect.