(Adds detail, background)
MEXICO CITY May 4 Mexican sugar producers could
ask the government to seek trade sanctions or launch an
anti-dumping probe into U.S. high-fructose corn syrup if no
sugar trade deal is reached, Mexico's sugar chamber president
said on Thursday.
Speaking on local radio, Juan Cortina, the President of the
National Chamber of the Sugar and Alcohol Industries, said sugar
producers could ask Mexico to impose reprisal measures on par
with a recent ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a
dispute between Mexico and the United States over tuna fish.
"The strategy that we are going to follow, if we can't reach
a deal with the United States, is to seek a dumping
investigation against fructose," he said. "We are going urge the
government...to take advantage of what they got last week on
tuna," he said.
A WTO arbitrator ruled in late April that Mexico could
impose annual trade sanctions of $163.23 million against the
United States after winning a dispute over trade in tuna fish.
Mexico's complaint focused on U.S. rules on "dolphin
friendly" labeling, which Mexico said unfairly penalized its
U.S.-Mexican trade relations are already under strain, as
U.S. President Donald Trump seeks to renegotiate the North
American Free Trade Agreement pact that has defined continental
commerce for a generation and after his vow to build a border
wall between the countries at Mexico's cost.
A deepening rift over sugar threatens to fan tensions.
The American sugar industry pressed the U.S. Commerce
Department late last year to withdraw from a 2014 trade
agreement that sets prices and quotas for U.S. imports of
Mexican sugar unless the deal could be renegotiated.
This week, the Mexican and U.S. governments said they had
agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations to June 5, with
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saying the talks were "at an
Ross said the United States intended to resume the
collection of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on sugar
imports starting June 5 unless an agreement is reached.
(Reporting by Adriana Barrera and Alexandra Alper; Editing by