ANNOUNCEMENT 24 Apr 2014

On April 24, 2014, the US Department of Commerce initiated a simultaneous anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on imports of sugar from Mexico. The investigations were eventually suspended due to an agreement with Mexican producers to limit their US exports.

This investigation followed the request lodged the same day by the American Sugar Coalition and its members: American Sugar Cane League, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, American Sugar Refining, Inc., Florida Sugar Cane League, Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers, Inc., Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida and United States Beet Sugar Association.

NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS

6

  • 2 harmful
  • 4 neutral
  • 0 liberalising
Inception date: No inception date

Anti-dumping

On April 24, 2014, the US Department of Commerce initiated an antidumping investigation on imports of sugar from Mexico. The investigation was eventually terminated due to a quantity restriction agreed to by Mexican sugar producers.

AFFECTED SECTORS

 
Inception date: No inception date

Anti-subsidy

Also on April 24, 2014, the US Department of Commerce initiated an anti-subsidy investigation on imports of sugar from Mexico. This investigation, too, was eventually terminated due to a quantity restriction agreed to by Mexican sugar producers.

Inception date: 19 Dec 2014 | Removal date: 06 Jun 2017

Import quota

On December 19, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce signed agreements to suspend antidumping and anti-subsidy investigations of imports of sugar from Mexico. Under this agreement, the Department of Commerce will calculate an export limit for Mexico based on U.S. Department of Agriculture data about U.S. needs for sugar in a given year. Mexico’s export limit is set at 100% of U.S. needs after accounting for U.S. production and imports from countries that are granted access under the tariff-rate quota for sugar.


This agreement was challenged by some segments of the U.S. Industry. Two U.S. sugar interests (AmCane Sugar LLC and Imperial Sugar Company) filed a pair of petitions with the U.S. International Trade Commission on January 8, 2015, requesting that the commission conduct investigations of the suspension agreements.

Inception date: 06 Jun 2017 | Removal date: open ended

Import quota

On June 6, 2017 the United States and Mexico announced a new agreement that aims to resolve their sugar dispute. Under the terms of the December, 2014 suspension agreement, the U.S. Department of Commerce suspended the AD/CVD investigations in exchange for Mexico’s agreement to limit its exports and impose minimum export prices on sugar sold to the United States. This agreement continued to be a source of contention. In the newest agreement the United States once again agreed to suspend AD and CVD duties on sugar imports from Mexico, and Mexico made the following commitments:

  • The price at which raw sugar must be sold at the mill in Mexico will be increased from 22.25¢/pound to 23¢/pound, and the price for refined sugar will be increased from 26¢/pound to 28¢/pound.
  • The share of refined sugar that may be imported into the United States has been reduced from 53% to 30%. Moreover. the dividing line between refined and raw sugar has been reduced from 99.5% to 99.2% purity.
  • Mexico will increase enforcement measures and impose significant penalties on violators, including a reduction in the amount of sugar allowed to be imported equal to twice the amount of any sugar found to be in violation of the modified agreements.
  • Mexico has the right of first refusal to supply 100% of any “additional need” for sugar identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after April 1 of each year. Additional need is defined as demand for sugar in excess of the demand the USDA had predicted for that crop year.

The American Sugar Alliance criticized that final component of the deal, arguing that Mexico could “exploit this loophole to continue to dump subsidized sugar into the U.S. market and short U.S. refineries of raw sugar inputs.”

Inception date: 07 Apr 2020 | Removal date: open ended

Anti-dumping

On April 7, 2020 the U.S. International Trade Commission determined that terminating the suspended investigations on imports of sugar from Mexico would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time. As a result of the determinations, the existing suspended investigations will remain in effect. 

Inception date: 07 Apr 2020 | Removal date: open ended

Anti-subsidy

On April 7, 2020 the U.S. International Trade Commission determined that terminating the suspended investigations on imports of sugar from Mexico would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time. As a result of the determinations, the existing suspended investigations will remain in effect.