UPDATE 2-U.S. cane refiners challenge U.S.-Mexico sugar pact
(Add AmCane challenge, comment from counsel; details, background throughout; comment from ITC)
By Chris Prentice
NEW YORK Jan 8 (Reuters) - Louis Dreyfus Commodities' Imperial Sugar Co and AmCane Sugar LLC have challenged the U.S.-Mexico trade deal, warning that the pact potentially harms domestic sugar refiners and prolonging a long-running dispute between the two countries.
In a filing on Thursday, Imperial asked the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to review suspension agreements hammered out last month aimed at ending a spat that has roiled trade between the two countries, cut off crucial raw sugar supplies from Mexico, and elevated tensions between those countries for almost a year.
Fellow refiner AmCane Sugar LLC has joined the review, according to the company's lawyer, who confirmed that the group filed its own "official challenge."
In March, the U.S. sugar industry accused Mexico of dumping cheap subsidized sugar in the heavily protected U.S. market.
The recent deal that set quotas and minimum sales prices rather than impose heavy antidumping and other penalties for Mexican imports into the United States, does not go far enough to prevent injury to the U.S. refiners, Imperial's counsel said in the Jan. 8 document filed to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
"The stakes are high" for Imperial Sugar, other cane refiners, and their customers, the company letter said. Continuación...