U.S. – Mexico end tomato trade dispute
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ted S. Yoho (R-FL) applauds today’s announcement that the U.S. Commerce Department reached a new suspension agreement with Mexican tomato growers. This announcement pauses an antidumping investigation and stops tariffs on U.S. imports of tomatoes from Mexico. The agreement calls for quality inspections of over 90 percent of trucks carrying Mexican tomatoes into the U.S.
“I commend the Department of Commerce and the Administration for standing up for our nation’s tomato growers with this new suspension agreement. For over two decades, U.S. tomato growers suffered under an unenforceable agreement and we experienced a substantial loss in the domestic market share,” Congressman Yoho said.
Per a press release from the Department of Commerce, “The draft suspension agreement enforces provisions that eliminates the harmful effects of Mexican tomatoes, as well as price suppression and undercutting. The draft agreement sets reference prices for rounds and roams at $0.31/lb., stem-on tomatoes at $0.46/lb., tomatoes on the vine at $0.50/lb., specialty loose tomatoes at $0.49/lb., and specialty packed tomatoes at $0.59/lb., with organic tomatoes, priced 40% higher than non-organics. The draft agreement also closes loopholes from past suspension agreements that permitted sales below the reference prices and includes a brand-new inspection mechanism to prevent the importation of low-quality, poor-condition tomatoes from Mexico, which can have price suppressive effects in the market. In addition, the draft agreement allows the Department to audit up to 80 Mexican tomato producers per quarter, or more with good cause.”
Congressman Yoho added, “With this new agreement that contains much-improved terms, today marks a new chapter for the U.S. tomato industry. Although it eliminates the anti-dumping investigation, it sets a new standard for quality inspections and increases minimum reference prices on Mexican tomatoes. Our producers are resilient, and they will now be able to better compete with legitimate enforcement mechanisms against unfair trading practices.”