The U.S. and Mexican governments reached a new agreement in principle on trade in sugar, but U.S. producers have failed to endorse the deal. Fred Katayama reports.
The U.S. and Mexican governments struck a trade deal on sugar Tuesday after extending the deadline. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE SECRETARY WILBUR ROSS SAYING: "We remain confident that this deal defends American workers across many industries and is the right way to ensure stability and growth." The agreement calls for Mexico to change the proportion of its export of raw and refined sugar. But it leaves Mexico's overall access to the U.S. sugar market unchanged. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo: (SOUNDBITE) (English) MEXICAN ECONOMY MINISTER ILDEFONSO GUAJARDO SAYING: "The agreement that we have reached, in principle, continues to allow Mexican sugar exports to access the U.S. market at the same volumes they were traditionally exported. There is a difference in terms of the split between raw sugar and refined sugar. Traditionally, Mexican exports have been exported to the United States in a ratio of 60 percent raw, 40 percent refined. The new agreement takes those to new levels, to 70 - 30." The deal also lifts the price the U.S. will pay for Mexican raw sugar. But U.S. sugar producers refuse to endorse the deal. The agreement still has to go through a final drafting stage. Ross said he hopes that will make it easier for them to back it.