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U.S. Corn Sweeteners and Mexican Sugar: Agreement at Last!

Author(s)

Magda Kornis


Abstract

This article covers major events in the long-standing dispute between the United States and Mexico regarding bilateral sugar and nonsugar sweetener trade. It discusses the rulings of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in disputes between the two countries regarding the antidumping duties Mexico levied on its nonsugar sweetener imports from the United States (1997-2001), and the taxes Mexico subsequently levied on the sale of products containing such sweeteners (2002-2006). In both disputes the WTO ruled in favor of the United States. These WTO rulings, as well as changes in the supply and demand of sugar and other sweeteners that began taking place in the second half of 2005 helped create the conditions that led to a bilateral agreement on sugar and nonsugar sweeteners in July 2006.

The article also charts U.S. exports of nonsugar sweetener HTS 1702.60 in 1997-2005 to Canada and Mexico. It illustrates how Mexico’s import-restraining actions substantially reduced U.S. sales of nonsugar sweeteners to their market in 2002-2004, and reduced overall U.S. exports of this commodity.