As 2015 comes to a close, we can look back to many successes by our industry this year. In addition to producing a tremendous crop, we have succeeded in tackling big issues that have threatened our industry.
After almost two years of work by beet and cane growers and processors and a tremendous legal team, the Mexico trade problem is now addressed, with provisions that will limit Mexican sugar imports at minimum prices and will not threaten forfeitures. With USDA back in control over imports to balance market demand, U.S. sugar policy is back to a “no cost” program that will stabilize the market for producers for at least the next five years. Much work still needs to be done to protect the agreement from legal challenges and assure that the agreement is well monitored so that industry participants in the U.S. and Mexico are in compliance.
Luther Markwart, author of Dateline Washington, is executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.