The World Trade Organization Appellate Body again ruled in favor of the United States regarding the violation of Mexico's tax on beverages containing high fructose corn syrup.
The WTO issued a final ruling on the HFCS case in favor of the United States on Oct. 7, 2005, that was later appealed by the Mexican government. The WTO Appellate Body ruling announced Thursday upheld the decisions of the final WTO panel report and sided with the United States on all counts.
According to the Corn Refiners Association, the 20% tax, enacted by the Mexican Congress in January 2002, has shut down U.S.-owned sales of HFCS to Mexico for more than four years. Losses of $944 million in HFCS sales, equivalent to 168 million bushels of corn, are sustained every year that the tax was in place, with additional sizable losses to investments. The price per bushel of corn in the United States could rise by $0.10 in key corn states, or $0.06 nationally, when the Mexican market is fully restored for corn sweeteners.
"This ruling will hopefully resolve the long-standing sweetener trade dispute with Mexico regarding HFCS," says Leon Corzine, National Corn Growers Association chairman. "HFCS is a major market for U.S. corn, consuming more than 5% of the national corn crop in 2005. NCGA supports efforts to protect and expand those markets through free and fair trade."