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Sweet deal with Mexico

Dan Grech Jul 28, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: The US and Mexico have been arguing about sugar for nine years now, but today they have a deal. The US will allow Mexican sugar to come in to the States. Mexico will open up its market to US corn syrup. From our America’s Desk at WLRN, Dan Grech reports.

DAN GRECH: For years the US has imposed restrictions on sugar from Mexico, despite a free trade deal between the countries.

In retaliation, Mexico put a 20 percent tariff on US soft drinks made with corn syrup. That cost US corn growers over $3 billion in lost sales since 1997.

JERRY HAAR:“Trade deals are like marriages, there’s no such thing as a perfect one.”

That’s economist Jerry Haar with Florida International University.

Mexico and the US have finally found a compromise. Haar says that’s a big deal, because Mexicans have a sweet tooth.

HAAR: “Much of the market in Mexico is caloric rather than diet soft drinks. So this is clearly very important for US bottlers, exporters, the producers of high fructose corn syrup.”

The new deal, inked late yesterday, opens the borders gradually for sugar and corn syrup.

By 2008, all tariffs will be eliminated.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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