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Mexican, U.S. negotiators to resume sugar trade talks

Staff Writer |
Mexican and U.S. trade representatives will resume talks in Washington aimed at resolving a sugar dispute between the two neighbors.

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The talks focus on the late 2014 sugar accord regulating Mexican access to the U.S. market and come as ties between the two countries have frayed under U.S. President Donald Trump, who has pledged to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and his counterpart, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, recently announced that sugar talks would resume, but did not set a date.

"The dialogue will continue this week among technical teams from (Mexico's) economy ministry and Wilber Ross' team," Guajardo told reporters.

Quotas on Mexican sugar exports are set under the 2014 agreement that has become a source of tension between the two countries. The deal ended a year-long investigation by the U.S. government after U.S. farmers and sugar companies said Mexican millers were flooding the market with cheap, subsidized sugar.

"We are exchanging information, the positions of those who launched the investigation in the United States, the positions of Mexican industry and we're making progress," added Guajardo, without going into further detail.

Mexico is the top foreign sugar supplier to the United States, a coveted 12 million-ton market where the U.S. government doles out export quotas to about 40 sugar-producing countries each year.

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