UPDATE 1-U.S. cane refiner to contest ITC decision on sugar trade deal
(Adds context on March ruling, paragraphs 3-5)
By Chris Prentice
NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - Imperial Sugar Company, owned by Louis Dreyfus Commodities, plans to contest a U.S. government decision over whether two U.S. cane refiners are damaged by a U.S. and Mexican deal to end a trend dispute over sweetener imported from Mexico.
Imperial plans to seek judicial review of a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decision in the Court of International Trade, according to a letter from the company's lawyer to the NAFTA Secretariat in Washington dated April 16 and seen by Reuters.
The ITC in March rejected challenges from two U.S. cane refiners that said a government trade deal over the sweetener would hurt their businesses.
The ruling was a victory for U.S. sugarbeet growers and companies who complained a year ago that cheap Mexican sugar was flooding the U.S. market, moving forward an agreement that established higher floor prices for sugar imported from Mexico.
An appeal of that decision stands to prolong the dispute.
Geneva-based Louis Dreyfus could not be immediately reached for comment. (Reporting by Chris Prentice, editing by G Crosse and Grant McCool)
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