Trade Commission looking at sugar 'dumping'

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The International Trade Commission (ITC) is conducting a full investigation into the Mexican sugar industry for “dumping” low-cost sugar on the American market. The ITC voted 5 – 0 to move forward with a full investigation. Last month, the ITC announced that it would conduct a preliminary investigation after U.S. Sugar producers filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions.

The contention is that Mexico unloaded lower-than-cost-of production or government-subsidized sugar into the U.S., which cost the American sugar industry an estimated $1 billion in lost income during last year's growing season.

Chad Hanks, owner of Advanced Agriculture Inc. sugar cane farm in Lafayette, La., said, "Our growers are ready to compete on a level playing field, but we cannot compete with the Mexican government and its assortment of subsidy schemes. Facing thousands and thousands of tons of dumped Mexican sugar bankrolled by a foreign government, our farmers appreciate Senator Mary Landrieu's unyielding support for our efforts to put an end to Mexico's sale of subsidized sugar into the U.S. market.”

Sen. Landrieu was one of the politicians who demanded the ITC look into the sugar market situation because her state has a large sugar cane agriculture industry.  

Under the Tariff Act of 1930, U.S. industries may petition the government for relief from imports that are sold in the United States at less than fair value ("dumped") or that benefit from subsidies provided through foreign government programs.

The ITC is responsible for determining whether a particular U.S. industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury from the imports under investigation.  If both the ITC and Commerce Department determine that is the case, then Commerce will issue an antidumping duty order to offset the dumping.

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