GOP senator rips Trump over sugar deal with Mexico

GOP senator rips Trump over sugar deal with Mexico
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Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.) on Thursday voiced his opposition to the Trump administration’s agreement with Mexico on the sugar trade, saying the deal increases the costs for consumers.

“I disagree—the new sugar deal hikes prices for consumers even more. Here’s why," Toomey wrote on Twitter, quoting a tweet from President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE and linking to his own remarks on the agreement. 

Trump early Thursday touted the deal on Twitter, saying it is “a very good one” for both countries.

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“New Sugar deal negotiated with Mexico is a very good one for both Mexico and the U.S. Had no deal for many years which hurt U.S. badly,” Trump said. 

But Toomey, who hails from the state that is home to The Hershey Company, a chocolate manufacturer, argued the “deal actually makes the problem worse,” referring to current sugar prices.

In a speech earlier this month on the Senate floor, Toomey slammed the agreement, saying it is bad for American consumers and workers. 

“The fact is this is a bad deal for the United States. I am completely mystified as to why our Commerce Department would agree to it,” Toomey said at the time.

“It’s a bad deal for U.S. consumers, and we’re all consumers. It’s a bad deal for American workers. It completely fails to address the high price of sugar that we have in America today.”

Toomey, after the deal’s announcement, also said that it threatens nearly 40,000 jobs in the Keystone State.

The agreement, announced earlier this month in principle, would halt taxes on Mexico’s sugar imports coming into the U.S. The deal would increase the price of Mexican raw sugar while reducing the percentage of refined sugar that can be imported to the U.S.

The Coalition for Sugar Reform, alliance of food manufacturers and other groups, also criticized the deal in a statement, saying it benefited corporate interests rather than consumers.

“The fact is, the U.S.-Mexico deal is a bad deal for the hardworking Americans President Trump pledged to help. True to old Washington ways, the only winners in this deal are a select few big corporate sugar farm interests, and the losers are U.S. consumers and American food and beverage companies that buy and use sugar," the coalition said.

This story was updated at 5:08 p.m.