CARIBBEAN EXPORTERS PRESSURE WASHINGTON

CARIBBEAN EXPORTERS PRESSURE WASHINGTON

Ambassadors of Caribbean sugar exporting nations are seeking White House help in getting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement a new U.S. sugar export bonus program.

The ambassadors are concerned that the USDA will kill the 400,000-ton export bonus plan, approved by Congress last December as part of the continued spending bill.It would be a disastrous blow to our governments if this administration now adopts a policy of not implementing a congressional mandate for economic assistance to the (Caribbean Basin Initiative nations), the ambassadors wrote in a letter to White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker.

The letter, obtained by Knight-Ridder Financial News at the International Sweeteners Colloquium here, continued: This would be viewed by our people as totally inconsistent with the spirit of the president's own CBI initiative (for preferential trade status) that has given so much hope to our region.

Under the export bonus program, 110,000 tons of sugar from the Philippines and 290,000 tons from the CBI nations would be imported into the United States in fiscal 1988 above their U.S. sugar import quota allocations.