Welles Orr Quoted Regarding Broader Free-Trade Implications of U.S.-Mexico Sugar Skirmish in Latin America Advisor

"How Will a Fight Over Sugar Affect U.S.-Mexico Trade Ties?"
Latin America Advisor
09.10.14Welles Orr was quoted regarding the U.S. government's plan to tax imports of sugar from Mexico following U.S.-based sugar producers' request to the Commerce Department, which claims they are being undercut by Mexico's subsidies to its sugar producers. "The U.S. government's announcement about imposing import duties on Mexican sugar is yet another unfortunate blow to the case for unfettered free trade between the United States and Mexico and another instance of policymakers caving in (for now) to the small but powerful U.S. sugar lobby," Orr said. "It is only ironic that in this 20th anniversary year of NAFTA going into effect, sugar trade remains the proverbial political punching bag it has always been." Fortunately, the broader trade relationship between the United States and Mexico is in good shape and this skirmish is just a minor irritant, Orr said. "And given how lucrative the U.S. market is for Mexico's sugar exports, it is entirely likely that Mexican producers will propose a suspension agreement in the countervailing duty case later this fall. But such a deal, in effect a managed trade agreement, would run counter to NAFTA and unfettered free trade."
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