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
NatureFresh has been shipping ‘OhioRed’ tomato on the vine (TOV) from Delta since February and will begin shipping an extensive array of specialty tomatoes from Ohio starting in mid-November.
Protected Agriculture
October 12, 2016
NatureFresh Farms Launches OhioRed Tomato Program
The greenhouse operation also was named a PMA Impact Award Finalist. Read More
farm labor pic for web
Labor
October 12, 2016
Labor Shortages Mean Lost Income
Agriculture is not a typical industry; fresh produce can't wait in the field for a crew to come and harvest it. Read More
Egyptian Broomrape
Photo credit: Dr. Reuven Jacobsohn, Agricultural Research Organization, Bugwood.org
Tomatoes
September 21, 2016
Noxious Weed Detected In Processing Tomato Field In California
The infested field was placed on hold and appropriate safeguards were implemented to prevent the movement of seeds on equipment and personnel leaving the field. Read More
white grubs
Cucurbits
September 21, 2016
Don’t Let White Grubs Gobble Up Your Vegetable Crop
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this pest. Read More
To have product ready to ship year-round, NatureFresh interplants its tomatoes, which involves adding a new crop behind plants that are currently producing tomatoes.
Production
September 6, 2016
NatureFresh Farms Hits A New Level For Locally Grown
The company's Ohio-grown greenhouse tomatoes hit the marketplace as phase two and three of a state-of-the-art facility are being completed. Read More
farmworkers using handwashing station
Farm Management
August 6, 2016
The Path To Food Safety
Three growers of various sizes offer tips on how they comply with food safety protocols while giving their customers what they want. Read More
Researchers plan to identify soil test critical levels for nitrogen and potassium, and calibrate common soil tests under high tunnel conditions to determine appropriate methods for predicting nutrient availability for different varieties of tomatoes, demonstrate the benefit of plants to increase biodiversity, and reduce pest problems. Photo credit: Lori Wright/NHAES
Production
August 2, 2016
SARE Grant Expands Tomato Research In High Tunnels
Researchers in New Hampshire receive grant to expand research for tomato nutrient and pest management in high tunnels. Read More
The Latest
Tomatoes
October 25, 2016
4 Tasty Tomatoes Guaranteed To Tempt Con…
Scan a slideshow of images to find out what new selections are specially suited for the Sunshine State. Read More
Crop Protection
October 25, 2016
Vegetable Grafting Facility Gears Up For…
The Tri-Hishtil vegetable grafting facility in North Carolina hopes to double grafted plant production by next year. Read More
Tomatoes
October 13, 2016
Lipman Launches Crimson Campaign For Tom…
The deep-red color raises the level of lycopene, a health benefit and it also helps to extend shelf life in the fruit. Read More
Protected Agriculture
October 12, 2016
NatureFresh Farms Launches OhioRed Tomat…
The greenhouse operation also was named a PMA Impact Award Finalist. Read More
Labor
October 12, 2016
Labor Shortages Mean Lost Income
Agriculture is not a typical industry; fresh produce can't wait in the field for a crew to come and harvest it. Read More
Tomatoes
September 21, 2016
Noxious Weed Detected In Processing Toma…
The infested field was placed on hold and appropriate safeguards were implemented to prevent the movement of seeds on equipment and personnel leaving the field. Read More
Cucurbits
September 21, 2016
Don’t Let White Grubs Gobble Up Yo…
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this pest. Read More
Production
September 6, 2016
NatureFresh Farms Hits A New Level For …
The company's Ohio-grown greenhouse tomatoes hit the marketplace as phase two and three of a state-of-the-art facility are being completed. Read More
Farm Management
August 6, 2016
The Path To Food Safety
Three growers of various sizes offer tips on how they comply with food safety protocols while giving their customers what they want. Read More
Production
August 2, 2016
SARE Grant Expands Tomato Research In Hi…
Researchers in New Hampshire receive grant to expand research for tomato nutrient and pest management in high tunnels. Read More
Crop Protection
August 2, 2016
New Technology Reduces Transplant Shock …
Product from AgroFresh Solutions is designed to help with faster crop establishment. Read More
Tomatoes
July 25, 2016
New Research Uncovers Gene That May Be K…
Scientists identify a gene that encodes an enzyme which plays a pivotal role in controlling tomato softening. Read More
Equipment
July 6, 2016
Options In Harvest Mechanization For Veg…
Depending on your goals, labor-saving devices are available to just about any grower, big or small. Two growers and an equipment manufacturer discuss the kinds of things you can do — and what it will mean for your production. Read More
Protected Agriculture
June 20, 2016
NatureFresh Farms Is A Winner In Greenho…
The greenhouse grower takes home top awards in four categories in the Greenhouse Vegetable Competition held each year during the Leamington Fair in Ontario, Canada. Read More
Cucurbits
June 14, 2016
Worry Spreading In Florida Over Exotic W…
UF/IFAS expert warns species likely to cause problems for growers. Read More
Crop Protection
June 5, 2016
How To Manage Consperse Stink Bug In Tom…
Tips to control the pest include pheromone traps, sanitation, and site selection. Read More
Cucurbits
May 25, 2016
Whitefly Threat Has Florida Growers On H…
Researchers, state agencies working together to prevent a potential outbreak. Read More
Tomatoes
May 16, 2016
Examining Two Ways To Enhance Tomato Fla…
Researchers in Florida highlight different approaches to developing better tasting tomatoes that involved analyzing the effects of refrigeration and identifying varieties and growing seasons. Read More