U.S. corn syrup shippers protest ongoing Mexican beverage tax
The Mexican Congress, in defiance of a recent World Trade Organization decision, has voted to continue a 20-percent tax on beverages made with high-fructose corn syrup for another year.
“This is a clear violation of Mexico’s WTO obligation,” said Audrae Erickson, president of the Washington-based Corn Refiners Association, in an interview with Shippers’ NewsWire.
In early October, the WTO ruled that the tax was in violation of Mexico’s international trade commitments.
The tax, enacted by the Mexican Congress in January 2002, has shut down U.S. exports of high-fructose corn syrup for about two years. The Corn Refiners Association estimates losses of $944 million in high-fructose corn syrup sales, or about 168 million bushels of corn, each year that the tax is in place.
American corn refiners have not yet formally responded to Mexico’s congressional action. However, Erickson said her association will “continue to support a negotiated settlement that benefits industries on both sides of the border.”