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Arizona leaders support maintaining Tomato Suspension Agreement

Banner for the Tomato Suspension Agreement with tomatoes and the US and Mexico flags.

(Nogales, AZ) – The Arizona State Senate is the latest in a strong line of defenders fighting to protect Arizona businesses and American consumers of fresh tomatoes.

On February 15, 2024, Senate President Pro Tempore Thomas “T.J.” Shope read a proclamation on the Senate Floor calling on the Department of Commerce to maintain the Tomato Suspension Agreement, a long-standing trade agreement that has helped foster innovation in the tomato industry and that generates jobs not only in Arizona but across the U.S.

The Tomato Suspension Agreement is under attack by Florida tomato marketers that want the federal government to restrict the importation of many preferred tomato varieties and pack styles such as grape, cherry, heirloom, Roma, medley packs, and new snacking tomatoes. Florida cannot meet the demand for these consumer-preferred varieties and are looking to limit competition for their gassed-green tomatoes through expensive duties on all imported tomatoes from Mexico.

The Arizona Senate proclamation draws attention to the vital economic, cultural, and trade ties between Arizona and Mexico, emphasizing the Tomato Suspension Agreement’s important role in maintaining stability in the U.S. tomato market for over two decades.

With 1.1 billion pounds of tomatoes imported through Nogales, Arizona annually, the Agreement not only secures jobs for thousands of Americans but also ensures a diverse selection of fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes for U.S. consumers.

In part, the Arizona State Senate proclamation states:

“Whereas, the State of Arizona and its business community have a long history of bilateral trade and cultural ties with Mexico which are deeply intertwined and dependent on trade with our Mexican partners, and…

Whereas, should the USDOC proceed with the termination of the Agreement, all U.S. companies importing Mexican tomatoes would be subject to 20.91% tariff that must be paid for each shipment of tomatoes, resulting in severe economic harm to Arizona businesses, Arizona jobs, and the Arizona economy, and

Whereas, high duties would negatively impact consumers by increasing prices on tomatoes at the marketplace while limiting the supply of vine-ripened and specialty tomatoes predominantly imported by Arizona companies…

Now therefore, be it resolved that, the Arizona State Legislature strongly urges toe USDOC to maintain the 2019 Tomato Suspension Agreement for the benefit of our businesses, residents, workers, and citizens of Arizona and the United States.”

In remarks on the Senate Floor after reading the proclamation, Senator Shope said, “Friends if you enjoy salsa, maybe a tomato on your cheeseburger like I do, this is a very important thing. We hope and encourage the Department of Commerce to do the right thing by continuing these agreements that have existed for decades.”

In addition to the Arizona Legislature, statewide support for the agreement has come from a wide range of government and community supporters. Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs publicly supported the state’s tomato businesses in a letter to Secretary Gina Raimondo from the Department of Commerce stating, “Arizona companies have led the way in innovation. Our companies have diversified how they do business to bring U.S. consumers high-quality vine ripe tomatoes…Arizona companies know that to thrive, they have to evolve.”

The Governor added, “Arizona stands behind our produce industry and urges you to maintain the 2019 Tomato Suspension Agreement for the economic health of our communities.”

At the federal level, the Arizona Congressional Delegation led and signed a bicameral, bipartisan letter with 34 Members of Congress calling for the Department of Commerce to maintain the agreement. Signatories included Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, and Arizona Members of the House, including Congressman Greg Stanton, Congressman Juan Ciscomani, Congressman Ruben Gallego, Congressman Raul Grijalva, Congressman David Schweikert, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, and Congressman Andy Biggs.

Groups like the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Arizona Restaurant Association, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Phoenix Chamber, Mayors from Nogales, San Luis, Yuma, and Douglas and over 100 companies signed letters to the Department of Commerce urging them to maintain the agreement.

“The Arizona State Legislature recognizes the severe economic repercussions that terminating the Agreement would have, including punitive duties that would increase tomato prices for consumers. This proclamation highlights the importance of continuing the 2019 Tomato Suspension Agreement, ensuring the prosperity of businesses, workers, and consumers in Arizona and across the United States,” stated Lance Jungmeyer, FPAA BB #:144354 President.

Join us as we continue to be the leading voice for market access of imported fruits and vegetables for consumers across North America. For more information, please visit

About FPAA:
Founded in 1944 in Nogales, Arizona, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas has grown to become one of the most influential agricultural groups in the United States. Today, the FPAA provides a powerful voice for improvement and sustainability by serving the needs of more than 100 North American companies involved in the marketing, import, and distribution of produce. For more information, visit

Lance Jungmeyer or Allison Moore at (520) 287-2707