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US official urges deal to resolve sugar row with Mexico

MEXICO CITY -- The U.S. agricultural department said on Monday it would like to head off a protracted trade dispute with Mexico over sugar imports by encouraging a negotiated agreement before any sanctions are imposed.

MEXICO CITY -- The U.S. agricultural department said on Monday it would like to head off a protracted trade dispute with Mexico over sugar imports by encouraging a negotiated agreement before any sanctions are imposed.

"We are in the process of encouraging ... folks to figure out a way forward that allows a suspension agreement to take place," U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on the sidelines of a conference in Mexico City.

Phillip Hayes, spokesman for the American Sugar Alliance, which represents the U.S. sugar industry, tells Agweek that his organization has no reaction to Vilsack's comments.

David Berg, president of American Crystal Sugar Co. a Moorhead, Minn.-based sugar beet cooperative, referred questions to Hayes.

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