Mexican Tomato Trade Deal Reaches Conclusion

Earlier this month, the U.S. and Mexico reached a final agreement over tomato trade. The signing officially allowed for the governing of the price of tomato imports from Mexico and suspended the investigation over anti-dumping of fresh tomatoes. The trade agreement served as a way to avoid a trade war between the two countries.

Last year, U.S. growers in Florida asked the U.S. Commerce Department to revoke the 17-year-old trade agreement with Mexico. Growers accused Mexican producers of dumping, or selling their tomatoes way below fair market value.

When Mexico’s fresh tomato production skyrocketed over the last decade, U.S. growers struggled to keep up with the competition. In 2011 alone, exports from south of the border reached $1.81 billion. That figure was only $412 million in 2000.

Through the pact, both countries were able to decide on fair terms. It provided an effective solution for the U.S. domestic industry and saves American jobs. “It includes important mechanisms that strengthen our ability to enforce the agreement and maintain required coverage of Mexican tomato imports, thereby helping American tomato growers to compete on a level playing field,” said Paul Piquado, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration.

The vice-president of Del Camp Supreme, Martin Ley, represented Mexican importers and growers. “After nearly nine months of sometimes difficult conversation and negotiation with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Mexican growers will be able to continue to focus on their highest priority: producing high-flavor, natural vine-ripened tomatoes that over the last two decades have won the favor and allegiance of growing numbers of American consumers,” Ley said in a statement praising the finalized trade agreement.

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