Nicaraguan businessmen will seek to export sugar to other markets after being excluded by the US

Nicaraguan businessmen will seek to export sugar to other markets after being excluded by the US

The National Committee of Sugar Producers of Nicaragua announced this Wednesday that they will seek how to export their product to other markets with lower prices, this after the decision of the United States to exclude the Central American country in the distribution of the sugar quota for fiscal year 2023, under the program called TRQs.

Under this program, Nicaragua was allowed to ship sugar to the United States with low import tariffs.

The information that was disclosed by the Office of the Trade Representative on Wednesday night, generated concern in the Nicaraguan private sector, who pointed out in a statement that they annually produce a little more than 17.7 million quintals of sugar, of which they export more than 11.5 million quintals, which is equivalent to more than 200 million dollars a year.

The businessmen indicated in a statement that with the preferential export quota an additional benefit was achieved which translates into profits and jobs.

“This situation directly affects the four sugar mills in the country and the more than 800 independent producers who contribute almost 50% of the sugar cane that is processed in the mills,” said the Committee.

According to the administration of President Joe Biden, this is intended to increase pressure on the government of President Daniel Ortega, accused of human rights violations and undermining democracy.

The Voice of America tried to consult the president of the Committee of Sugar Producers (CNPA) Mario Amador about this decision, however, he sent to read the statement as a union.

Nevertheless in statements to the newspaper La Prensa, Amador said that the sector was “in shock” with the measure, so he asked the Washington Embassy in Managua for a meeting to discuss it.

In addition, Amador explained to the same newspaper that the possibility of selling the sugar to China, a new commercial ally of Managua, was not a possibility at the moment.

“Four years ago we exported about 200 thousand tons to China, but it is not a new permanent market, it is an eventual market,” he stressed.

Since February, it became known that President Biden’s administration was studying the possibility of expelling Nicaragua from a profitable regional free trade pact —or assigning its valuable sugar quota to another Central American country— in retaliation for the repression of the political opposition unleashed by President Daniel Ortega.

[Con información de The Associated Press]

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