Freezing wet weather in the northern Plains has pummeled the sugarbeet crop and cut deeply into domestic sugar production. The USDA said it "fully intends to take appropriate actions to ensure an adequate supply of sugar," language likely to mean it will allow larger than usual imports of foreign-grown sugar.
A trade group for U.S. sugar growers and processors, after objecting a week ago to a tentative U.S.–Mexico agreement on sweetener trade, said the pact was strengthened in follow-up negotiations and that it now supports the deal.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue went north and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross looked south as the Trump administration focused on North American food and farm trade issues. Based on "quite meaningful" progress, Ross allowed an additional 24 hours to complete a deal on sugar imports from Mexico, while Perdue discussed the future of two-way farm trade with Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence Macaulay.
In a preview of the message they’ll give to lawmakers later this week, U.S. farm groups and a delegation of grain and industry officials from Mexico used a news conference in Nebraska to emphasize the value of the U.S.-Mexico ag trade partnership, reported AgDaily.
At the same time the White House plans to renegotiate NAFTA, the Trump administration says it will collect antidumping and countervailing duties on sugar from Mexico unless that country agrees to limit shipments to the U.S.