FLORIDA: New tomato suspension agreement a “step in the right direction”

PRESS RELEASE: Washington, D.C., September 19, 2019 – The Florida Tomato Exchange welcomes the signing today by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Mexican tomato exporters of a new agreement suspending the antidumping investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico.

The new suspension agreement includes strong monitoring, enforcement and anti-circumvention provisions, including border inspections, that should help eliminate the injury to American tomato farmers caused by dumped Mexican tomatoes.

The border inspections will only cover about 66 percent of imported Mexican tomatoes, but this provision should discourage dumping of low quality and defective tomatoes, which have been depressing prices and injuring U.S. tomato producers for years.

The FTE appreciates the very hard work of Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Kessler and Deputy Assistant Secretary Lee Smith, along with their full team, in reaching this new agreement with the Mexican industry.

We also appreciate the crucial work by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in helping develop the border inspection system.

This agreement, like any trade agreement, will only work if it is enforced. The FTE looks forward to working with the Commerce Department and the USDA to ensure that the agreement is enforced vigorously and to identify and stop all efforts to circumvent or undermine its provisions, especially the border inspection system.

Today’s signing is a step in the right direction to stop further injury to American farmers caused by dumped Mexican tomatoes.