Don’t Let the Deal Go Sour

By February 6, 2008General

A broad coalition of manufacturing and food processing associations have sent a letter to President Bush and Congressional leaders, objecting to proposals to rewrite NAFTA rules to keep sugar prices artificially high. The National Association of Manufacturers has joined in the effort.

Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), makes the case here:

“Attempts by the U.S. and Mexican sugar industries to rewrite the rules of NAFTA undermine free and fair trade and would have a negative impact on our nation’s economy that go far beyond just sweetener and agricultural trade,” said Dooley. “The sugar industry’s protectionist agenda is a relic of the past and has no place in today’s global economy. Inevitably, American consumers pay the price of such poor policy in the form of higher food costs. That is why GMA has joined with this broad coalition of business leaders, who represent tens of millions of U.S. workers, to call for the rejection of this managed trade deal that would negate long-due, hard-won trade liberalizations.”

This kind of special-interest manipulation of a long-established agreement would also seriously undermine U.S. credibility with future trading partners.

Reuters does a good job of covering the issue here.

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