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Sugar growers to ITC: Consumer prices went up despite subsidized imports

The American Sugar Alliance, which represents U.S. beet and cane growers, told the International Trade Commission Feb. 9 that between 2008 and 2014 when the U.S. imported subsidized Mexican sugar, consumers paid more for sweetened products and food manufacturers' revenues grew.

In a report and in oral testimony related to an ITC investigation of sugar import restraints, ASA economist Jack Roney said the situation showed that ITC assumptions that eliminating U.S. sugar policy and allowing subsidized imports to flood the U.S. market would mean lower prices for consumers were wrong.

Roney noted, "The ITC itself unanimously found Mexico had injured the U.S. sugar industry during a recent antidumping and countervailing duty case. The U.S. Department of Commerce, in its own trade investigation, found that Mexico dumped sugar with combined subsidy and dumping rates as high as 84 percent."

"In previous iterations of this investigation, the ITC has modeled a hypothetical situation: The effect on the U.S. economy of unilateral elimination of U.S. sugar-import restraints. The ITC needs to model this scenario no longer," Roney said.

— The Hagstrom Report