Sugar industry group chairman Carolyn Cheney said, "The additional sugar imports proposed and those contemplated in additional bilateral trade agreements will destroy the domestic sugar industry. Those imports will overwhelm an already abundantly supplied market. We will have no choice but to oppose CAFTA," she said.
Additionally, Cheney said, "We have insisted that sugar trade issues need to be addressed globally in the World Trade Organization (WTO), not piecemeal in bilateral and regional trade agreements."
She said, "We feel it is appropriate that the Administration has recognized that any reduction in sugar tariffs in bilateral or regional FTAs would have disastrous consequences. But the sugar industry remains deeply concerned about the potential impact of additional import access granted to the CAFTA countries through increased imports on an already oversupplied US market."
Cheney said, "We can't emphasise strongly enough that every pound of foreign sugar we are forced to import under these agreements means another pound an efficient American farmer can't produce."
Cheney added, "Moreover, we need to know what the Administration's intentions are in other prospective FTAs, which involve most of the world's major sugar exporters. Comparable increases in market access for these countries would result in a near doubling of US imports, an amount equivalent to about 12 to 15 per cent of US production." She noted that, by statute, the US sugar marketing allotment program can only avoid taxpayer costs if imports are kept below a certain level.