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Parliamentary questions
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5 February 2018
Question for written answer E-000694-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Pina Picierno (S&D)

 Subject:  Cane sugar refining in Italy and FTA talks with Mexico and Mercosur
 Answer in writing 

Cane sugar refineries support approximately 5 000 direct jobs across the EU. While there is only one cane sugar refinery in Italy, it accounts for 40% of Italy’s total sugar production (800 000 tonnes) and provides 200 jobs, both directly and indirectly, in an area where the unemployment rate is particularly high. However, the quantity of raw material that cane refiners can access is limited due to high EU import duties, ranging from EUR 98/tonne to EUR 339/tonne depending on the country of origin. In some cases, this almost doubles the price of the raw cane sugar.

A balanced, duty free tariff rate quota (TRQ) for raw cane sugar in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with Mercosur and Mexico would ensure greater competitive access to the raw material while boosting competition within the EU sugar market and ensuring consumer choice.

What is the Commission doing to balance the various interests in the sugar sector?

Can the Commission confirm that meaningful duty free raw cane sugar tariff rate quotas will be included in both the Mercosur and Mexico agreements?

Last updated: 22 February 2018Legal notice