U.S., Mexico Strike Tentative Deal In Tomato Trade Tiff

tomato

After nearly 8 months of posturing following a formal request from U.S. tomato producers to withdraw a 16-year old antidumping petition and have the existing suspension agreement covering fresh tomato exports from Mexico terminated, it appears trade officials from both sides have come to terms.

Part of the proposed agreement, which covers imports of all fresh or chilled tomatoes of Mexican origin, except tomatoes that are for processing, involves raising the minimum sales price for Mexican tomatoes in the U.S. In addition, the proposal accounts for changes that have occurred in the tomato industry since the signing of the original agreement and increases, from one to four, the number of tomato type categories with established reference prices to better reflect the realities of the current tomato market.

Per a fact sheet provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, new reference prices for

  • “Open field and adapted environment” tomatoes are 31¢ per pound in the winter and 24.58¢ per pound in the summer.
  • “Controlled environment” tomatoes would be 41¢ per pound in the winter and 32.51¢ per pound in the summer.
  • “Specialty, loose” tomatoes would be 45¢s per pound in the winter and 35.68¢ per pound in the summer.
  • “Specialty, packed” tomatoes would be 59¢ per pound in the winter and 46.79¢ per pound in the summer.

The winter and summer reference prices for all tomatoes are presently 21.6¢ per pound and 17.2¢ per pound, respectively.

(Related Article: Facing A ‘Tomato Cliff’ If Trade Pact Scrapped)

After extensive consultations with the U.S. Department of Commerce, domestic tomato growers indicated tentative support for the revisions negotiated by the U.S. Government and Mexican growers. In response to the tentative agreement, Reggie Brown, executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange, said, “The existing suspension agreement had serious flaws and injury was being felt by U.S. producers and their workers. We have been honored and humbled by the support we have received from agricultural commissioners and secretaries in a number of states, members of Congress, and representatives of the workers, most importantly the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, in the fight for fair trade.”  

Brown continued, “Mexican growers and their government have tried to protect their interests with tremendous pressure on our government, threats to U.S. producers, and a well-funded lobbying and media campaign. The facts, however, were clear and could not be disputed. Mexican tomatoes were being sold in the U.S. market in rapidly increasing volumes at prices that did not reflect the cost of production.”

Edward Beckman, president of Certified Greenhouse Farmers, said, “It’s important to recognize that since tomato growers first raised concerns about unfair trade with Mexico16 years ago, the market has changed considerably. This new suspension agreement recognizes the changes and includes definitions to cover the evolution and diversification of the market. These provisions will protect consumer interests and promote the further development and diversification of the market while ensuring that growers receive a fair price for those products.”

The agreement will be open for public comment until February 11. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the effective date of any final agreement is projected to be March 4, 2013.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “U.S., Mexico Strike Tentative Deal In Tomato Trade Tiff

  1. I prefer American-grown tomatoes. Even tho' I know pesticides are used, I've always understood that the pesticides used in Mexico are ones that have been banned in U.S. What good is that is they're sold to, & used in, Mexico & then the vegetables are sold in the U.S.? A lot of people are worried about the pesticides used on all vegetables & fruits being what has caused many illnesses in the American People!

Tomatoes Stories
This row of tomatoes with large fruit load is part of an on-going project with DeRuiter Seed Co. 
for variety trial testing for 
semi-arid, high-light regions. 
Photo Credit: UA-CEAC/DeRuiter Seed Co.
Production
October 29, 2015
5 Trends In Protected Ag Or Controlled Environment Agriculture
Take these trends into consideration if you plan to grow under cover or want to expand your operation. Read More
Tomatoes_generic
Tomatoes
October 23, 2015
Worldwide Congress On Processing Tomatoes To Be Held In March
Focus will be on global economic trends, future markets, production costs, water, and more. Read More
edema on a vegetable plant
Disease Control
October 22, 2015
A Keen Eye Can Help You Spot Edema On Your Vegetables
Learn how to identify, the contributing factors of, and management methods for this common disease of vegetables. Read More
HM 1823 tomato variety
Tomatoes
October 21, 2015
5 Juicy Tomatoes Florida Growers Should Consider
The tomato is a staple specialty crop for Florida. New varieties developed by leading seed manufacturers are enabling more growers to Read More
Pacific Tomato Growers packinghouse in Palmetto, FL
Tomatoes
October 9, 2015
Longtime South Florida Tomato Producer Passes At 83
Nathan Esformes, co-founder of Pacific Tomato Growers, succeeded in the agriculture industry for more than 60 years. Read More
Rambling Rose provides a new attractive pink fruit color not yet available in cherry tomatoes suitable for hanging basket production. Photo credit: University of New Hampshire
Production
September 28, 2015
New Hampshire Researchers Develop New Cherry Tomato
The tomato is designed to grow in hanging baskets in greenhouses. Read More
nicely sliced tomatoes
Tomatoes
September 25, 2015
Chapter 11 Proceedings Help Troubled Florida Tomato Producer Out Of The Red
Bankruptcy court confirms sale of 1,151 acres in auction that clears way for continued operations at Grainger Farms. Read More
The Latest
Leafy Vegetables
January 13, 2016
New Pointed Red Cabbage, Tomato To Be Sh…
Hazara Seeds to present new varieties at the trade show in Germany. Read More
Insect Control
December 21, 2015
Revised Label For Nimitz Nematicide Ties…
Removal of direct-seeding restriction reinstates the crop back onto the approved fruiting vegetables list. Read More
Production
November 12, 2015
Adding Value To Your Vegetable Crop Can …
Creating demand necessary as the price of doing business continues to increase. Read More
Production
October 29, 2015
5 Trends In Protected Ag Or Controlled E…
Take these trends into consideration if you plan to grow under cover or want to expand your operation. Read More
Tomatoes
October 23, 2015
Worldwide Congress On Processing Tomatoe…
Focus will be on global economic trends, future markets, production costs, water, and more. Read More
Disease Control
October 22, 2015
A Keen Eye Can Help You Spot Edema On Yo…
Learn how to identify, the contributing factors of, and management methods for this common disease of vegetables. Read More
Tomatoes
October 21, 2015
5 Juicy Tomatoes Florida Growers Should …
The tomato is a staple specialty crop for Florida. New varieties developed by leading seed manufacturers are enabling more growers to Read More
Tomatoes
October 9, 2015
Longtime South Florida Tomato Producer P…
Nathan Esformes, co-founder of Pacific Tomato Growers, succeeded in the agriculture industry for more than 60 years. Read More
Production
September 28, 2015
New Hampshire Researchers Develop New Ch…
The tomato is designed to grow in hanging baskets in greenhouses. Read More
Tomatoes
September 25, 2015
Chapter 11 Proceedings Help Troubled Flo…
Bankruptcy court confirms sale of 1,151 acres in auction that clears way for continued operations at Grainger Farms. Read More
Crop Protection
September 23, 2015
Beneficial Insect Causes Problems On Tom…
The tomato bug may control whitefly populations in greenhouses but it is wreaking havoc in tomato fields in South Texas. Read More
Tomatoes
September 18, 2015
Taste Is King When Talking Tomatoes
A University of Florida plant breeder discusses the importance of appealing to consumer senses when developing new varieties. Read More
Food Safety
September 18, 2015
Tomatoes Are Source Of Salmonella Outbre…
Investigators are working to trace back the tomatoes to the farm of origin. Read More
Tomatoes
September 4, 2015
California’s 2015 Processing Tomato Crop…
Production is forecast 4% above the 2014 crop, in part due to low disease and pest pressure. Read More
Leafy Vegetables
August 27, 2015
The Latest Vegetable Varieties For Cover…
Check out cucumber, pepper and tomato offerings available from DeRuiter, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Rijk Zwaan, and Syngenta. The greenhouse varieties are Read More
Tomatoes
August 12, 2015
Rutgers Researchers Focus On Flavor Of N…
The university has created a tomato with heirloom flavor and grocery store durability. Read More
More Vegetables
August 11, 2015
Growers, Researchers Doubling Down On We…
Effective control in the absence of methyl bromide requires progressive chemical and cultural practices. Read More
Citrus
July 30, 2015
Bankrupt Florida Farm To Yield Plenty Of…
As many as seven different buyers could be part of this Chapter 11 proceeding. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]