October 07,2005

Grassley Welcomes WTO Determination in High Fructose Corn Syrup Dispute

WASHINGTON – A panel of the World Trade Organization today issued its determinationin the challenge brought by the United States over Mexico’s discriminatory tax on beveragessweetened with high fructose corn syrup. The panel sided with the United States on all major issues. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, with jurisdiction over international trade, has long urged Mexico to repeal this discriminatory tax and abide by its international trade commitments. Grassley issued the following statement in response to the panel’s determination.

“I’m very pleased, but not surprised, by the panel’s determination that this discriminatory tax violates Mexico’s WTO obligations. Mexico has gone to great lengths to bar imports of high fructose corn syrup regardless of its international trade commitments. Mexico’s actions continue to harm corn growers and high fructose corn syrup producers in Iowa and other states.

“I encourage Mexico to repeal this tax. In doing so, Mexico would come into compliancewith its WTO obligations. At the same time, it would remove a major irritant in its trade relationswith the United States.

“I also strongly urge Mexico not to pull a bait and switch and replace this discriminatory taxwith yet another barrier to imports of high fructose corn syrup. It’s time to resolve this dispute onceand for all. While I’m encouraged by Mexico’s recent announcement that it will permit theimportation of a limited amount of U.S.-produced high fructose corn syrup, the fact is that Mexicoremains in violation of its WTO commitments.”