- Title: Anger in Mexican sugar cane fields, harbinger of NAFTA risks
- Date: 4th June 2017
- Summary: ZACATEPEC, MEXICO (RECENT - MAY 31, 2017) (REUTERS) SUGAR CANE WORKERS SPRAYING FIELDS VARIOUS MORE OF WORKERS SPRAYING FERTILIZER ON FIELDS A BILLBOARD FOR COCA-COLA SEEN FROM THE SUGAR CANE FIELD WORKERS NEAR A SUGAR CANE FIELD AND WATER RUNNING THROUGH A CANAL WATER IN CANAL WIDE OF SUGAR CANE FARMERS IN A SUGAR CANE FIELD SUGAR CANE PRODUCER, NARCISO HERNANDEZ, DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SUGAR CANE PRODUCER, NARCISO HERNANDEZ, SAYING: "What's happening with the government? They haven't looked at our sector in the fields responsibly. They don't want to understand that everything comes from the field so that we can live. It's one of the pillars of the country's economyâ€¦ sugar cane gives life, it provides work and movement." JOURNALIST SPEAKING WITH SUGAR CANE PRODUCERS IN THE FIELDS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SUGAR CANE PRODUCER, SAMUEL MONTES, SAYING: "It is going to cause a very strong social conflict throughout the country with all the mills. This is very worrisome and we want Enrique Pena Nieto, as president, to truly interest himself with the economy and for sugar cane workers, throughout the country."
- Embargoed: 18th June 2017 21:23
- Keywords: NAFTA trade Narciso Hernandez Mexico sugar Ildefonso Guajardo Samuel Montes sugar cane United States
- Location: ZACATEPEC, MORELOS STATE; MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- City: ZACATEPEC, MORELOS STATE; MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Commodities Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0016JV5DTZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Anger is simmering across a lush swathe of Mexico among poor sugar cane farmers who face a major blow from trade talks in Washington on Monday (June 5), in an ominous preview of the high-stakes re-negotiation of the NAFTA agreement set to begin in August.
The United States and Mexico have until Monday to modify a 2014 agreement that set quotas and a price floor on Mexican sugar.
U.S. sugar refiners say Mexico's exports are subsidized, undercutting their business and that the agreement failed to stop dumping.
A new deal could significantly reduce access to the lucrative U.S. market for some 190,000 Mexican farmers, a fifth of whose sugar last year was sold to U.S. buyers, and risks triggering tit-for-tat tariffs that could hurt U.S. corn.
With 2.4 million people estimated to earn livelihoods from sugar across 15 states in Mexico, the spat may also serve as an example of the political minefield the government will face in broader trade talks later this year that could affect jobs in the thriving manufacturing sector.
U.S. President Donald Trump triggered the 90-day start to NAFTA re-negotiations last month, following up on his longstanding criticism of the 23-year-old free trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada, arguing it is unfair to American workers and must be reworked.
Feeling used by the government, Mexican cane farmers are fuming, further eroding already flagging support for Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, ahead of a 2018 presidential vote, just as a leftist nationalist is making inroads into its traditional bastions.
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