Earlier this month while the Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Corn Marketing Boards were meeting, a very important agreement between the U.S. and Mexico was finalized that will maintain sweetener trade between our two countries.
The U.S. and Mexican negotiators reached a new sugar suspension agreement. This agreement manages the volume and prices of sugar that Mexico may export to the U.S.
Without a new agreement, sweetener trade between the U.S. and Mexico would have been promptly halted. At stake was the loss of $500 million Mexican corn sweetener export market and the 4,000 Midwestern jobs it supports.
Illinois Corn Growers Association sent a letter advocating for a quick resolution to the sugar suspension agreement negotiations and are pleased that the situation was resolved.
The Illinois producers of corn sweeteners are a vital part of the Illinois economy. 2014 data indicate:
- The corn sweetener industry purchased 1.55 billion bushels of corn with a farm value totaling $6.9 billion;
- Paid $18.5 million in Illinois property taxes;
- Provided 2,252 Illinois jobs with workforce compensation totaling $305 million, accounting for $8 million in income taxes; and
- Supported 41,423 jobs in the state and $78.4 million in state income taxes.
Tom Sleight, U.S. Grains Council CEO said, "Mexico is a critical market for the U.S. grains industry - the top export destination for U.S. corn last year, the second largest buyer of U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and an important market for U.S. sorghum and U.S. barley.
"The agreement announced today is part of a necessary foundation for negotiating with our neighbors and customers in good faith while helping to protect our existing duty-free access, high market share and U.S. jobs."