Evidence shows Mexico's subsidized sugar industry is hurting domestic sugar producers and refineries, according to a Friday ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Commissioners voted 5-0 May 9 to investigate allegations that Mexico has been dumping heavily subsidized sugar on U.S. markets.

According to a press release from the American Sugar Cane League (emphasis is ours):

U.S. sugar producers filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions with the ITC in March claiming that Mexico’s actions will cost the industry $1 billion this year.  The petitions further noted that efforts by U.S. government officials to keep the market from collapsing under the surge of subsidized Mexican imports cost taxpayers $278 million in FY2013.

In Louisiana, despite a top five all-time crop of more than 1.6 million tons of raw sugar in 2013, the value of the state’s crop dropped more than $250 million.

The American Sugar Alliance and other groups say sugar subsidized by the Mexican government has cut the price of raw sugar in half since 2011. The country doubled its sugar exports to the U.S. from 9 percent in 2012 to 18 percent the following year.

The U.S. Commerce Department also is investigating allegations that Mexico is exporting far more sugar than it has in the past and selling it in the U.S. at much less than fair market price.

If Commerce Department findings support the claim, the International Trade Commission could impose import duties to make up the difference.