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Mexico says sugar exports to United States to remain duty

19 Juin 2017

The United States will continue allowing Mexico to sell it sugar duty-free, the Mexican economy minister said Tuesday as the countries prepared to announce a deal on a long-running trade dispute.

"U.S. sugar farmers and producers are concerned that the agreement in principle contains a major loophole in the section dealing with additional US needs", the statement said.

Mexican officials want any renegotiation of NAFTA done this year so it doesn't get caught up in their elections next year.

"The two sides have come together in quite meaningful ways, but there remain a few technical details to work out", Ross said in a statement.

Woodall says they understand those concerns and since Mexico is an important market for USA beef, negotiators need to tread carefully with NAFTA discussions.

Some members of the USA sugar industry, however, are not happy with the reported deal and were pressuring the Trump administration to stop it, one source said.

US producers of everything from corn to beef have warned of the risk of a broader trade dispute if a deal on sugar isn't reached.

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Guajardo told CNBC earlier on Tuesday that he and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross would "probably" be announcing an agreement at a news conference scheduled for 1:45 p.m. (1745 GMT) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. Factions of the US industry have said that the deal has failed to eliminate harm from Mexican imports.

It also contemplated an increase on the price paid for Mexican sugar, to 23 cents per lb for raw sugar and 28 cents for refined, the source said. Mexican farmers have hit back in recent months, saying the United States is dumping high-fructose corn syrup into their markets.

Representatives of some of the world's biggest grain traders, Archer Daniels Midland Co and Cargill Inc joined Cocal-Cola Co and others to lobby against the US sugar producers in the dispute.

"Avoiding a trade war will benefit everyone, and I'm glad that this years-long trade dispute is finally reaching its end", said Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, adding that Ross balanced all interests in the negotiations. Factions of the US industry have said that the deal has failed to eliminate harm from Mexican imports.

Mexico had resisted the idea of accepting US help or advice on how to strengthen security along its southern border with Guatemala, where much of the flow of migrants and drugs enter North America. Mexican raw sugar producers are one of the biggest providers to US sugar refineries, which complained of a shortage of raw sugar to make sweeteners used for beverages and food products.

He says President Trump must make sure all the high-level government officials from the Trade Representative's office to the USDA to the Commerce Department are involved in the NAFTA talks.

A delegation of US congressmen spoke after meeting with Mexican counterparts to discuss trade and security as part of the Inter-parliamentary Group.

Mexico says sugar exports to United States to remain duty