February 10, 2019 - The Commerce Department has indicated the United States will withdraw from a previous agreement with Mexico and resume an anti-dumping investigation into imports of Mexican fresh tomatoes.
The following may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall: “The renewed anti-dumping investigation against Mexican fresh tomato imports is a necessary action. Despite a previous accord that banned artificially low prices, Mexican producers have found ways to exploit the agreement and increase their market share.
“Farm Bureau believes in free and fair trade. North American agricultural trade has been an enormous boon for the United States, Mexico and Canada, but the United States must take action when that trade ceases to be fair.”
Source: American Farm Bureau Federation
U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Intent to Withdraw from Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico
February 10, 2019 - On February 6, 2019, the Department of Commerce notified the Mexican signatories to the 2013 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico that the Department intends to withdraw from the Agreement, consistent with Section VI.B. Section VI.B of the Agreement states that “[t]he signatories or the Department may withdraw from this Agreement upon ninety days written notice to the other party.” With the written notification, Commerce intends to withdraw from the Agreement on May 7, 2019.
“We have heard the concerns of the American tomato producing industry and are taking action today to ensure they are protected from unfair trading practices,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The Trump Administration will continue to use every tool in our toolbox to ensure trade is free, fair, and reciprocal.”
Upon completion of the withdrawal, the Department of Commerce will continue with its investigation and notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its final determination. If the Department continues to find sales made at less than fair value in its final determination, the ITC will then complete its own investigation and make a final determination with respect to injury. If both Commerce and the ITC issue affirmative final determinations, an antidumping duty order will be issued.
The Department opened negotiations with the Mexican signatories in January 2018. Despite committed efforts from all sides, significant outstanding issues remained with respect to crafting a revised agreement that would be acceptable to the Mexican signatories and address the concerns of the U.S. domestic industry to the extent possible under U.S. trade law. In November 2018, the Florida Tomato Exchange (FTE) requested Commerce end the Agreement and resume the antidumping investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. Commerce finds at this stage that it is appropriate to notify the Mexican signatories of our intent to withdraw, terminate the Agreement, and resume the investigation.