Mexican govt rallies behind tomato growers in U.S. trade spat -

Mexican govt rallies behind tomato growers in U.S. trade spat

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Mexican govt rallies behind tomato growers in U.S. trade spat

The Mexican economic secretary has pledged his goverment will "not abandon" the country's tomato exporters in the face of a push from Florida's growers to put an end to a 16-year-old trade pact, website reported.

Secretary Bruno Ferrari said he would defend Mexican growers with a "strong position" regardless of pressures from Florida's industry that were mainly for political reasons.

He emphasized the matter was key for the federal government, which has been working on the matter with U.S. authorities as well as several Mexican state governors.

"We will not abandon our tomato growers in this case - we consider it fundamental for our trade relationship," Ferrari was quoted as saying.

"[It is] merely a protectionist attitude of some farmers who are affected by the quantity, quality and competitiveness of Mexican products."

Foreign trade undersecretary Francisco de Rosenzweig, said the government "categorically rejected" the accusations of dumping from U.S. growers, highlighting the move could have serious consequences for the Mexican industry that ships US$800 million worth of tomatoes each year.

De Rosenzweig pointed out there was a reference band of prices for Mexican tomato exports to the northern neighbor, which showed dumping was not taking place.

"Florida growers have sought to take advantage of the electoral situation in the United States," he was quoted as saying.

"We believe strongly in the virtues good trade and reject any protectionist measures. And in that sense we will use all legal options available to us to defend the interests of our producers and our economy."

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