The U.S. Commerce Department and Mexican tomato growers and exporters have finalized a new agreement that suspends the antidumping duty investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico.
“This agreement meets the requirements of U.S. antidumping law and provides an effective remedy for the U.S. domestic industry that protects American jobs,” said Paul Piquado, U.S. assistant commerce secretary for import administration, in a statement.
“It includes important mechanisms that strengthen our ability to enforce the agreement and maintain required coverage of Mexican tomato imports, thereby helping American tomato growers to compete on a level playing field,” he added.
The new agreement covers imports of all fresh or chilled tomatoes of Mexican origin, except tomatoes that are for processing. It accounts for changes that have occurred in the tomato industry since the signing of the original agreement in 1996, and increases the number of tomato categories with established reference prices from one to four, Commerce said.
“I’m pleased with the collaborative efforts that resulted in this agreement, which will help to maintain stability in tomato trade between the United States and Mexico,” said Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez.
More than 600 Mexican growers and exporters are presently signatories to the new agreement. Under U.S. antidumping law, the suspension agreement must prevent price undercutting and suppression in the U.S. market and eliminate at least 85 percent of the dumping. There have been three previous suspension agreements covering imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico – in 1996, 2002, and 2008.