A group of 17 U.S. senators has submitted a letter to the Commerce Department warning that a proposed suspension agreement imposing quotas on Mexican sugar imports would violate the North American Free Trade Agreement, “threaten the viability of American food manufacturers and raise food prices for American families.”

Led by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), the group includes Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Following petitions by members of the American Sugar Alliance, the Commerce Department launched an April 2014 investigation into allegations that Mexico’s mills are dumping subsidized sweetener in the United States, and the department is reportedly due to decide whether to impose duties on Mexican imports soon. “This mutual market access is beneficial to the United States: U.S. growers and refiners do not produce enough sugar to meet the demands of U.S. consumers, and imports are necessary to keep America’s food manufacturers competitive in the global marketplace,” the letter apparently said. See Reuters and Law360, July 29, 2014.