The debate over whether Mexico's subsidized sugar industry will be held accountable for violating U.S. trade laws has been getting a lot of press coverage lately:
U.S. officials have until June 5 to resolve a disagreement with Mexican officials about how to handle Mexico's illegal dumping of cheap, subsidized sugar in the U.S. marketplace."
So far, Mexico has refused to comply [with U.S. trade laws], but the U.S. Commerce Department, which is leading the talks with Mexico, has shown no sign of backing down." -Agri-Pulse, May 17
[Commerce] Secretary Ross earned praise when he staked out a tough position on NAFTA enforcement, saying, ‘We are going to implement stricter enforcement than any recent administration. We will be diligent in pursuing violative imports and in collecting anti-dumping and countervailing duties." -The Hill, May 19
Unfortunately for American workers, Mexico's pattern of unfair trade is not isolated to sugar. In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is currently enforcing 10 dumping and subsidy cases against Mexico, including:
Circular welded non-alloy steel pipe
Certain magnesia carbon bricks
Seamless refined copper pipe and tube
Large residential clothes washers
Pre-stressed concrete steel rail tiewire
Steel concrete reinforcing bar
Carbon steel wire rod
Pre-stressed concrete steel wire strand
Light-walled rectangular pipe and tube
Heavy walled rectangular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes
All told, the United States has tried approximately 2,000 unfair trade cases against countries spanning the globe. And in many of these cases, the DOC has stepped in to defend U.S. jobs through duties or negotiated agreements to level the playing field.
America's sugar producers are trying to make NAFTA work by asking for the same treatment afforded to all U.S. industries: Enforcement of U.S. laws to stop the injury being caused by predatory trade practices.
Whether it's concrete, steel or sugar, we can all agree that trade cheats should not be rewarded.