U.S., Mexico to make statement on Tuesday after sugar talks

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 06, 2017 7:37 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and Mexican officials planned an announcement on sugar trade on Tuesday after talks went into overtime this week as negotiators grappled with last-minute U.S. industry demands.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Mexican Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo will make an appearance at 1:45 p.m. at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, the Commerce Department said in a statement.

Ross on Monday extended the deadline for the negotiations by 24 hours to complete "final technical consultations" for a deal.

Sources on both sides of the dispute said the U.S. sugar industry had added new demands outside of the terms agreed on earlier, despite an agreement that had already been struck between the governments.

An agreement in Washington would help avert stiff U.S. duties and Mexican retaliation on imports of American high-fructose corn syrup before wider trade talks expected in August.

A deal also would end a year of wrangling over Mexican sugar exports. The latest talks began in March, two months after President Donald Trump took office vowing a tougher line on trade to protect U.S. industry and jobs.

They are seen as a precursor to the more complex discussions on the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)