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Deal reached for Tomato Suspension Agreement

Mexican tomato growers have reached a deal with the U.S. government to avoid an anti-dumping investigation.

Dante Galeazzi, president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association, confirmed early on Aug. 21 that the agreement had been reached.Dante-TIPADante Galeazzi

Galeazzi said, “I received notice late last night — several minutes before midnight.”

Galeazzi said there will now be a 30-day comment period on the U.S. Department of Commerce decision. This period will expire Sept. 19.

Galeazzi said he had just began studying the fine details of the implications of the DOC agreement. But, he finds it unlikely that the outcome of that comment period will change the Aug. 20 announcement. He explained that the DOC didn’t make its decision until hearing the arguments of Florida tomato growers, who claim damage from the import of fresh Mexican industry, and several institutions that represent the interest of Mexican tomato grower and shippers.

The DOC decision was extended two months because all sides needed to be heard. “The interests of both parties were considered in the decision,” Galeazzi said.

“This was the decision we hoped for,” he added, saying it is a good decision for both sides and for American consumers, who will enjoy tomatoes “at a good price and consistent quality throughout the year, with supplies from both Mexico and the U.S.”

“Under the deal, the vast majority of Mexican tomato exports will be subject to border inspections," according to Reuters. "Still, the accord provides a measure of relief to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in his dealings with the Trump administration.”

Reuters continued: “In May, the U.S. Commerce Department imposed a 17.5 percent tariff on Mexican tomatoes after the two sides failed to renew an earlier agreement that halted a U.S. anti-dumping probe. Since then, the two sides have held negotiations in search of a deal.”