Washington, D.C. – After 23 years of suspension agreements that never worked to protect American tomato growers from injurious dumping of Mexican tomatoes, the Mexican tomato industry agreed last night to a strong new suspension agreement, which U.S. growers support. The agreement establishes unprecedented measures and enforcement provisions that will help protect American tomato farmers from injurious dumped Mexican tomatoes.
The domestic tomato industry commends the Commerce Department and the Mexican industry for coming to an agreement that recognizes the need for stronger enforcement. We are committed to working hard with the Commerce Department to make sure the new agreement works.
The new tomato antidumping suspension agreement includes major provisions requested by U.S. growers to improve enforcement and monitoring of the agreement. The Mexican industry conceded on core provisions such as border inspections of all Mexican round, roma and bulk grape tomatoes, and improved compliance and monitoring tools. Without these and other new provisions, the agreement will not eliminate the injury being caused by unfairly traded Mexican tomatoes. The entire Commerce Department negotiating team, under the leadership of Under Secretary Gilbert Kaplan, Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Kessler and Deputy Assistant Secretary Lee Smith, did a great job in making this new agreement possible. We look forward to this agreement being implemented in 30 days from now.
The member companies of the Florida Tomato Exchange (FTE) produce over 90% of the tomatoes grown in Florida and are among the largest producers of tomatoes in California, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico. FTE member companies produce approximately 50% of the fresh-market tomatoes grown in the U.S. The FTE is the domestic petitioner in the antidumping case against fresh tomatoes from Mexico.