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Commerce Secretary Ross welcomes producer backing for sugar deal

  • Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross commended sugar producers for signing onto a "fair" sugar trade deal a day after the U.S. and Mexico finalized details of the deal.
  • The deal averts large duties on U.S. sugar imports of Mexican sugar and addresses industry demand for protection from cheap, subsidized sugar from its foreign supplier.
  • The American Sugar Alliance, whose members include sugar farmers and producers, said it supported the "tightened" agreement.
Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Zach Gibson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Thursday commended sugar producers for signing onto a "fair" trade deal a day after the United States and Mexico finalized details of the agreement.

"I am glad all parties have agreed that the new sugar agreement is fair and addresses the shortcomings of the original deal," Ross said in a statement.

"I am hopeful that we can successfully implement this new agreement with the support and cooperation of all stakeholders."

The deal was agreed upon by the two governments on Wednesday and opened for public comments for seven days. Last week, Ross and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo announced an agreement in principle but said U.S. producers did not support the deal.

In its first comments since the deal was initiated, the American Sugar Alliance, whose members include sugar farmers and producers, said it supported the "tightened" agreement.

"For too long Mexico was allowed to sidestep our trade law, but those days are over," alliance spokesman Phillip Hayes said in a statement, adding that stakeholders looked forward to ensuring the pact was "strongly enforced."