Our trade policy hasn't been formally changed yet, but the Trump regime has already created problems with our biggest trade partners through sheer incompetence.
Export permits for Mexican sugar have been suspended because of a technicality and, ordinarily, that wouldn't be a big problem, but there's literally no one at the Department of Commerce qualified to deal with it.
The letter sent by Mexico's sugar chamber to mills on Monday partly blamed the situation on unfilled positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce, which it said has led to a "legalistic" interpretation of rules with no U.S. counterparts in place in Washington for Mexican officials to negotiate with. [...] The letter described as "absurd" an interpretation by "low-level" U.S. Commerce Department officials of a clause in so-called suspension agreements. [...]
The permits were "suspended" to comply with accords with the United States because the export limit for the six months up to March 31 was reached ahead of time, said Juan Diaz Mazadiego, director of foreign trade at Mexico's Economy Ministry.
Trump has continued to blame Democrats for not approving his nominees, but Republicans control Congress and Trump hasn't even nominated anyone to fill hundreds of positions in the federal government including at the Department of Commerce.
Supplies of sugar in the United States are reportedly "tight" so don't surprised if the price of sugar and products that use sugar increases.
The license cancellation by Mexico adds to protracted marketplace uncertainty, said Richard Pasco, president of the Sweetener Users Association trade group.
"We need adequate supplies and the lack of resolution is a problem," he told Reuters in a phone interview on Tuesday.