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U.S. formally terminates tomatoes trade agreement with Mexico

Christian Fernsby |
tomatoesThe United States formally terminated a 2013 agreement with Mexico on tomato trade, possibly resulting in an anti-dumping duty on Mexican tomatoes sold to the United States, the U.S. Department of Commerce said.

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The statement said that the United States will continue to negotiate a possible revised agreement with Mexico, one that is "acceptable to the Mexican signatories" and "also addresses the concerns of the U.S. industry to the extent permissible by U.S. trade law."

The department issued a statement on Feb. 6 notifying Mexico that it intended to terminate the 2013 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico, effective on May 7.

"90 days after Commerce notified the Mexican signatories, the Department is withdrawing from the Agreement," read Tuesday's statement. "As a consequence of withdrawal, the Agreement terminates."

The current agreement suspended an anti-dumping investigation into Mexican tomato imports in exchange for the Mexican side agreeing to certain restrictions.

The United States began negotiating revisions to the six-year-old trade pact with Mexico in January 2018. After the termination of the agreement, Commerce will continue with its investigation into sales of Mexican tomatoes to the United States, according to the statement.

If Commerce "continues to find sales made at less than fair value," the U.S. International Trade Commission will complete its own investigation and "make a final determination with respect to injury," the statement said.

Some producer groups from California which accounts for over 95 percent of processed tomato the country produces and other U.S. western states warned that if the United States resumes anti-dumping investigations into Mexican crops, Mexico may retaliate with similar moves targeting U.S. agricultural products such as apple, according to a report by CNBC in February.

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