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FARMERS SAY TRADE PACT GIVES MEXICO UNFAIR ADVANTAGE

 CLEWISTON, Fla., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- President Bush's announcement that he will sign the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Dec. 17 has prompted a strong negative response from the Florida Sugar Cane League.
 "We are very disappointed the U.S. government has negotiated such an unfair agreement, giving less efficient growers in Mexico unfair advantage in the U.S. market. We call on the U.S. government to reconsider its action on sugar before Dec. 17, 1992," League Vice President and General Manager Andy Rackley said.
 "The sugar provisions of the NAFTA, as currently proposed, could lead to the destruction of the U.S. sugar program, and as a result, the Florida sugar industry," Rackley said. "Unless the president amends these provisions as the entire sugar industry has requested, we will join forces and oppose NAFTA."
 Under fast-track authority that Congress agreed to, no amendments can be made in NAFTA once it is signed by the president and sent to Congress for approval. "This is why it is so important for the president to address our concerns before he signs the proposed agreement," he said.
 "The fast-track procedure also called for a 90-day consultation period with Congress between the president's initialing of the NAFTA last Sept. 17 and his signing of the agreement. But this has been a farce," Rackley said. He noted that the 102nd Congress adjourned just a few legislative days later, on Oct. 9, eliminating the possibility of a genuine consultation period.
 "NAFTA would encourage surplus Mexican production by granting Mexico unlimited access to the U.S. sugar market after the sixth year of the agreement. Not even U.S. growers have unlimited access to the U.S. sugar market," Rackley said.
 -0- 12/15/92
 /CONTACT: Andy Rackley of the Florida Sugar Cane League, 813-983-9151/


CO: Florida Sugar Cane League ST: Florida IN: SU: EXE

KD -- DC011 -- 7199 12/15/92 12:19 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 16, 1992
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