The government of President Joe Biden removed Nicaragua from the list of countries that can send sugar to the United States with low import tariffs, in an attempt to put pressure on the authoritarian government of President Daniel Ortega.
The United States annually assigns sugar import quotas by country and imposes relatively low tariffs on those that ship below their quota.
The Office of the Trade Representative issued Wednesday night the list that assigns quotas to 39 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, for just over 1.1 million metric tons of sugar cane.
The fees cover the fiscal year 2023, which begins on October 1 in Nicaragua. The Central American country had a quota of more than 22,000 metric tons in fiscal year 2022, but was excluded from the 2023 list.
The Biden administration is looking for ways to increase pressure on the Ortega administration, which last year carried out fraudulent trials of anti-government activists before the elections. With opponents barred from contention, Ortega won a fourth term by a wide margin.