U.S. ends tomato suspension agreement, will impose 17.5% tariff on Mexican imports

May 07 , 2019

The U.S. will soon impose a 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomato imports, after the Commerce Department confirmed the country had withdrawn from a 2013 agreement that suspended a U.S. anti-dumping investigation.

“The Department of Commerce remains committed to ensuring that American domestic industries are protected from unfair trading practices,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement on Tuesday. “We remain optimistic that there will be a negotiated solution.”

The tariff will go into effect in about a week, Reuters reported on Tuesday evening.

The U.S. Commerce Department said in early February that the U.S. would resume an anti-dumping investigation into Mexican tomatoes, withdrawing from The Tomato Suspension Agreement that halted the investigation as long as Mexican producers sold their tomatoes above a pre-determined price.

Many U.S. tomato growers and lawmakers say that deal has failed. But while many in the U.S. tomato industry welcome the withdrawal from the Tomato Suspension Agreement, critics say that the move is unjustified and could lead to immediate and significant price rises for U.S. consumers.

The Commerce Department said tariffs could be refunded if a subsequent investigation finds no unfair pricing.

Mexico exports around US$2 billion worth of tomatoes to the U.S. annually.

The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) said in a statement on Tuesday it is disappointed the agreement has been terminated, saying it had been “an important tool in protecting over 33,000 American jobs and creating stability in the marketplace”.

“Many entities appealed for the signature of a new or revised Tomato Suspension Agreement. To that end, FPAA would like to acknowledge the efforts of our members, their growers, the Congressional Delegation, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, and many others,” it said in a statement.

“It is our understanding that the Mexican growers put several proposals on the table to improve an already-effective agreement. Despite the fact that the agreement has been terminated, our hope is that Commerce continues to work in good faith with the growers in Mexico to negotiate a new agreement that balances concerns of growers in Florida with the need to protect our robust trading relationship.”

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  1. Alejandro Salamanca says:

    This tariff measure is nothing more than an order of Trump turned the US trade department to protect the tomato producers of that country and, in passing, to make note that “cares” of the interests of its producers and voters but, the problem is that the American consumer will finally pay this compensatory quota, thus creating the opposite effect towards the population that cannot dispense with the daily consumption of Mexican Tomato, of higher quality than the American one.

  2. Nick Dulcich says:

    We need the same tariff on Grapes from Mexico. California pays 12.00 an hour Mexico pays 12.00 a day. Light them up!!!!!

  3. Ryan Peirce says:

    It’s weird you say that Alejandro, where do you live? Are you a supporter of the Mexican trade? Why? Do you live in America? Do you have any clue what the American Farmer goes through to make a crop and the cost that it incurs in America? If you did you would understand the American Farmers side. However if you want to support the Mexican farmer that’s fine but why do you live here in America?

    1. Manuel Rivera says:

      Ryan, do you remember Detroit? It used to be THE place for automobile manufacturing but times changed.
      Same thing with agriculture.
      Besides, tariffs are paid by the final consumer ultimately. I bet the effect on the volume of Mexican tomatoes sold in the US will be negligible.