Proposals to manage or restrict sugar or sweetener trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement have been presented by U.S. and Mexican sugar producers. However both countries have rejected the proposals. All duties and quantity restrictions were removed on Jan. 1, 2008 with the full implementation of NAFTA.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab say negotiations of NAFTA would have to be reopened in order to do what the sugar producers have requested, which would present other problems.
"Not only would you be trying to re-negotiate agreements on sugar, but you'd also be getting into pork, beef, soybeans and many other issues that are traded between our two countries," Schafer says. "To reopen the NAFTA negotiations right now just does not make sense."
Schafer and Schwab say the Administration will continue to work closely with all parties to ensure that the rules for sweetener trade with Mexico continue to be fair and transparent and will address any valid concerns over sugar trade with Mexico.