Despite projections by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that subsidized imports of sugar would in turn result in lower prices for consumers, an economist recently told the ITC that the exact opposite has occurred, bringing higher prices for consumers, more profits for food manufacturers and greatly impacting the nation’s sugar industry.
An article on the American Sugar Alliance’s (ASA) website said American sugar producers lost $2 billion in 2013 and 2014 as a result of Mexico’s sugar dumping, and Hawaii will no longer produce sugar after nearly two centuries of high-yield production.
“Assessing the impact of U.S. elimination of sugar-import constraints does not require hypothetical modeling," Jack Roney, an economist with the ASA, recently said at an ITC hearing convened to examine the impact of U.S. import restraints. the posting said.
“The aftermath of actual elimination of sugar-import constraints from Mexico under NAFTA demonstrates the harm to the U.S. sugar-producing industry and the lack of any effect on consumers,” Roney said, according to the article.
In a recent antidumping and countervailing duty case, the ITC found Mexico had injured the U.S. sugar industry, the post said. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Commerce, after conducting an investigation, found Mexico dumped sugar with combined subsidy and dumping rates as high as 84 percent, the article said.
“Grocery shoppers saw no benefit and food makers actually increased their prices. Conversely, sugar producers lost money and jobs because of Mexico’s unfair trading actions," Roney said in the article. “While a continued surge in subsidized imports would depress U.S. sugar prices and bankrupt many American sugar farmers, American consumers would still see no benefit."