The associations representing Mexican tomato growers announced that three Mexican grower respondents submitted data in the renewed antidumping investigation that confirms they are not dumping in the U.S. market.
Their calculations demonstrate that the dumping margins for all three growers amount to zero based on the programs used by the Commerce Department and the regulations in place in 1996, when this case was originally filed by the Florida Tomato Exchange. While the Commerce Department has the next word in this process, the Mexican growers are confident that the Department's review will result in a similar finding. The growers are hoping that Commerce ignores continuing pressure from Florida politicians.
For the past 23 years, this dispute has been settled under the terms of the Tomato Suspension Agreement, which has set a minimum price for Mexican tomatoes sold in the US market. Those prices have been updated and increased over the years, including by more than 100 percent in 2013. The Commerce Department terminated that agreement in May based on demands made by four Florida-based tomato companies.
Once the agreement was officially terminated, the Commerce Department announced that it would disregard the original respondents and their data, as well as the preliminary results reached in the original preliminary determination, and would instead conduct an entirely new and complete investigation.
The Mexican growers have said for more than 18 months that they are willing to negotiate a new suspension agreement if both the agreement and the process leading to it are fair. Those negotiations have stalled due to a number of demands advocated by the Florida tomato growers.