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WTO ruling is sweet news for corn growers

The price per bushel of corn in the United States could rise by 10 cents in key corn states or 6 cents nationally, thanks to a ruling from the World Trade Organization this week.

The ruling denied an appeal from the Mexican government, which aimed to overturn an October 2005 WTO decision that Mexico violated international commitments when it placed a tax on beverages containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

That 20% tax, enacted by Mexican Congress in January 2002, resulted in a more than $4 billion loss for the corn industry, according to Bob Bowman, National Corn Growers Association Joint Trade Policy A-Team chairman. "Without the tax, US-produced HFCS can now compete on a more level playing field," he said.

According to the Corn Refiners Association, losses of $944 million in HFCS sales -- equivalent to 168 million bushels of corn -- have been sustained every year the tax has been in place.

This week's WTO ruling upheld the decisions in its previous panel report and sided with the United States on all counts.

The price per bushel of corn in the United States could rise by 10 cents in key corn states or 6 cents nationally, thanks to a ruling from the World Trade Organization this week.

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