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NatureSweet responds after ruling by U.S. Court of International Trade that invalidates tax on tomato imports from Mexico


SAN ANTONIO, TX, (April 30, 2024)- NatureSweet BB #:152351, the largest vertically integrated controlled environment agricultural company in North America and the number one snacking tomato brand, applauds the recent decision by the United States Court of International Trade which invalidated a 2019 determination by the United States Department of Commerce that exporters of fresh tomatoes had “dumped” product into the U.S. from Mexico, requiring Commerce to reconsider whether dumping actually occurred and, if so, what duty rates apply.

U.S. buyers and importers are pleased that the Court determined Commerce may not apply steep duties of more than 30 percent on imports of Mexican tomatoes into the United States.

The court decision is straightforward and clear. According to Skip Hulett, VP & General Counsel for NatureSweet, the Court did in fact rule that Commerce’s final determination was not in accordance with the law and therefore invalid. The Court clearly stated that Commerce’s final investigation, in which it selected entirely new parties for individual examination and examined sales from a wholly new period of time, violated the basic statutory requirement that Commerce resume and finish its original investigation from 1995. Contrary to the Florida Tomato Exchange’s recent bluster, this is not a procedural decision. The Court invalidated Commerce’s final determination as unlawful and told Commerce to “redo” its investigation. 

Therefore, there has been no final determination that dumping has occurred at any time. In fact, based on the shortages that occurred this past winter, with accompanying record-high prices charged in the United States, the evidence continues to indicate that Mexican tomatoes are not being dumped, and are critical to feeding American families.

Instead of innovating to meet the growing U.S. demand for high-quality, vine-ripened tomatoes, Florida growers are demanding high tariffs to raise prices further to control market share, even though inflation continues to stretch Americans’ pocketbooks. We regret that the Florida growers have prioritized their profits over the needs of hungry Americans.

For more information or comments on the recent ruling, contact details are below.

About NatureSweet® (NS Brands, Ltd.)

NatureSweet® is the single-source solution for greenhouse-grown vegetables and is the #1 best-selling brand in snacking tomatoes. The largest vertically integrated controlled environment agriculture company in North America, NatureSweet guarantees great tasting produce year-round, both organic and conventional. Our vegetables are carefully grown, harvested, and packaged by more than 6,000 directly employed company Associates. NatureSweet tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet peppers are handpicked at the peak of freshness and sold at major supermarket retailers throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. NatureSweet is dedicated to having a positive social, environmental, and economic impact within our communities, and our commitment is to transform the lives of agricultural workers throughout North America. This work, as well as our efforts regarding sustainability, have led us to earn B Corp, Fair Trade, and the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certifications.