Fresh trade dispute sees Mexico cancel sugar export permits to U.S.

By Elliot Bullman

Mexico has cancelled existing sugar export permits to the United States to avoid penalties in a dispute over the pace of shipments, partly blaming the issue on unfilled positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Portada nueva disputa

The dispute centers on an interpretation of how the Mexican government issues export licenses to ensure supplies enter the United States at a regulated pace.

The order, sent by Mexico's sugar chamber to mills on Monday, said existing permits would be reissued in April. Mexico's sugar mills are currently in full swing at the height of the harvest.

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The Mexican Economy Ministry decided to cancel the permits since it has no counterparts at the Commerce Department in Washington to resolve the problem.

Trump has not filled staff positions in several departments, a situation Mexican officials say has made it hard to negotiate on trade issues.

Mexico's sugar quota, set annually by a 2014 trade deal, was established at 820,000 tonnes in the current 2016-17 crop year.

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