Monday 4th February 2013, 04:36 Central Time
US-Mexico “end” tomato war
Proposed agreement would suspend the antidumping duty investigation of fresh tomatoes entering the US from Mexico
Authorities in the US and Mexico have proposed a draft suspension agreement to set a minimum wholesale price for fresh tomatoes from Mexico entering the US.
Drafted by the US Commerce Department and the Mexican tomato industry, the pact would also strengthen anti-dumping enforcement.
If passed, the deal would effectively end the so-called tomato war between the US and Mexico, and replace an existing trade deal that was established 17 years ago.
US agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack applauded the “good work” of Francisco Sanchez, the undersecretary of commerce for international trade at the Commerce Department, in forging this “important” agreement, which he claims will allow the domestic tomato industry to compete on a “level playing field”.
“The draft agreement meets the requirements of US antidumping law and provides an effective remedy for our domestic tomato producers, further bolstering agriculture as a bright spot in our nation's economy,” secretary Vilsack explained.
“Ultimately, the Obama Administration forged an agreement that will restore stability and confidence to the US tomato market and ensure fair trade in fresh tomatoes through increased reference prices, coverage and strengthened enforcement.”
The US is one of the world’s leading producers of tomatoes, with a trade worth over US$2bn supporting thousands of jobs in the food, shipping and processing industries, among others.