The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced a final dumping margin of 21% in the recently-resumed antidumping investigation of Mexican tomatoes.
The investigation will now shift to the International Trade Commission (ITC). It will evaluate the extent to which dumping affected U.S. growers, the Florida Tomato Exchange (FTE) said.
The ITC will hold a hearing on Thursday to hear testimony from both the U.S. and Mexican industries.
The FTE expects a final injury determination from the ITC by Dec. 4. After this time the full investigation, which first began in 1996, will finally be complete.
The Florida Tomate Exchange said the announcement came as "no surprise".
"This result comes as no surprise to American tomato farmers who have seen domestic production decline significantly in the face of unfairly traded Mexican imports," it said.
The antidumping investigation resumed last week following a continuation request by the Florida Tomato Exchange.
This comes follows a new suspension agreement between the two sides that was signed on Sept. 19.
U.S. trade law allows domestic parties to request the continuation of an antidumping investigation even after a suspension agreement has been implemented. The agreement, however, remains in effect during the resumed investigation.
If the ITC determines that Mexican dumping caused injury to U.S. growers, the suspension agreement will remain in place. But it will begin suspending antidumping duties rather than an antidumping investigation.
This means that if the agreement terminates, there will be an immediate imposition of the 21% duty since the investigation will have already been completed.
Alternatively, if the ITC determines that Mexican dumping didn’t cause injury, the suspension agreement will end and there will be free trade.