November 25, 2019

USITC Finds Mexico-grown Tomatoes Threaten US Industry

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) last week found in a 4-0 vote that the US tomato industry is threatened by the importing of fresh tomatoes from Mexico that the US Department of Commerce said are sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, Randolph J. Stayin, and Amy A. Karpel voted in the affirmative.  Chairman David S. Johanson did not participate in this vote.

As a result, the suspension agreement that the Commerce Department previously entered into concerning the dumping of fresh tomatoes from Mexico will remain in effect.

The Commerce Department previously found that Mexican tomatoes had been dumped in the US market at an average margin of 21 percent less than fair value, the Florida Tomato Exchange (FTE) said in media reports.

“The FTE is thankful to its fellow tomato growers around the country that worked together to make sure the Commerce Department recognized that this was a national issue,” the FTE said.

Representatives of Mexican growers expressed disappointment in the finding but would comply with existing policies.

According to media reports, Nogale, Arizona-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas stated the trade commission failed to recognize that the growth of Mexican tomato imports is due to U.S. consumer preferences and U.S. companies seeking out the best varieties and growing regions to meet these demands.

The Commission’s public report Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico (Inv. No. 731-TA-747 (Final), USITC Publication 5003, December 2019) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigation.

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