On September 10, Mexico rejected appeals by two US agribusiness giants to drop expensive, 3-year-old anti-dumping duties on corn syrup imports, further defying global opinion that the duties are illegal, reports Reuters. In separate rulings published in Mexico's official gazette, the Mexican economy ministry rejected as void the attempts by Cargill Inc. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. to appeal the tariffs. The rejection echoes Mexico's defiance of recent decisions by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and by a panel of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which have ruled the duties illegal. Earlier this year, the two companies appealed directly to Mexico's government, asking through internal channels that trade officials reconsider the duties. The Mexican government began to apply anti-dumping tariffs on US corn syrup imports in January 1998 after concluding that the imports were harming local producers of sweeteners. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) competes with the Mexican sugar sector as a cheaper and more efficient sweetener for the nation's soft drinks industry. Mexico rejected the petition by Archer Daniels, associated with Mexican agribusiness Almidones Mexicanos, because the company failed to prove the business relationship differentiated it from other US corn syrup exporters. The anti-dumping duties range from $55.37/ton to as high as $175.50/ton. Cargill pays between $100.60-175.50 per ton, depending on the grade of the corn syrup imported; and Archer Daniels is charged $55.37-63.75 per ton.