Northey: Trump administration pleased with sugar situation
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Trump administration is “pleased we have had a fairly predictable situation” regarding the sugar supply and sugar policy, Agriculture Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said at the American Sugar Alliance’s annual International Sweetener Symposium.
Some of the provisions that give stability to the sugar program were “set up” by the amended suspension agreements that control the supply of sugar that comes into the United States from Mexico, Northey said.
The Trump administration wants producers to have “a steady, solid number that lets you know you have a market,” Northey said to the beet and cane growers and processors who are members of groups that form the alliance.
“We are in a good place for fiscal year 2019 and set up for a good place in 2020,” Northey said.
USDA, he added, wants to manage the sugar supply so that there is a stocks to use ratio between 13.5% and 15.5%.
USDA will have to pay attention to whether there needs to be any reallocation of tariff rate quotas on imports to assure a steady supply, he added. The sugar relationship with Mexico is “sensitive.” he said, because the United States and Mexico are in the midst of trade negotiations and there are immigration issues.
Northey was referring to agreements between the United States and Mexico after the U.S. sugar industry charged that Mexico was subsidizing its sugar industry and dumping sugar in the United States. The U.S. government threatened retaliation but after Mexico agreed to certain rules regarding sugar exports to the United States the U.S. government suspended those actions.