LatinNews Daily - 22 July 2022

In brief: US ups economic pressure on Nicaragua

*The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has dropped Nicaragua from a list of countries that can ship raw cane sugar and sugar-containing products to the US at low import tax rates (tariff-rate quotas, TRQs) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 (1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023). This is widely considered part of efforts by the US government led by President Joe Biden to increase economic pressure on the Nicaraguan government led by President Daniel Ortega over its continued attacks on civil society and democratic institutions. In April, USTR had already excluded Nicaragua from the reallocation of the unused country-specific quota allocations for FY2022 under the TRQ on sugar. These reallocations are normally interpreted as a political message. At the time however critics said that the move will not affect Ortega’s government unduly, as it does not make much money from cane sugar, which is dominated by private producers.

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