January 26,2004

Grassley Seeks WTO Case Over Mexico’s Treatment of Corn Syrup

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today asked the Bush administration to initiate a case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Mexico’stax on soft drinks containing high fructose corn syrup.

“The tax violates Mexico’s international trade commitments and harms Iowa corn farmers,Iowa high fructose corn syrup producers, and other producers throughout the United States,”Grassley said. “We need to do everything possible to bring Mexico into compliance with its tradecommitments, including bringing a WTO case. I hope the administration will take action soon. Weneed to send a strong signal to Mexico.”

Grassley has worked for more than a year to persuade Mexico to drop its unfair tax. LastNovember, as his most recent major action, he introduced legislation to impose trade duties onMexican products such as tequila in retaliation for that country’s barrier to imports of U.S. highfructose corn syrup. Grassley called the bill a measure of last resort and urged Mexico to reverse itstrade-prohibitive policy before the United States has no alternative but to impose the new duties.Grassley said he will continue to pursue his legislation while pursuing the WTO case because theissue is so important to U.S. producers.

The text of Grassley’s letter requesting a WTO case can be found in the printer-friendly version of this release.