Gonzalez Statement on Trump Administration Exiting Tomato Suspension Agreement and Imposing Tariffs on Tomato Imports
WASHINGTON – Today Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration slapping a 17.5 percent tariff on Mexican fresh tomato imports after the United States and Mexico failed to renew the 2013 agreement that suspended a U.S. anti-dumping investigation:
“I have urged Secretary Ross to reconsider exiting the Tomato Suspension Agreement for some time now, with the hope that cooler heads would prevail. It’s unfortunate that the Trump Administration could not come to an agreement with Mexico on a deal that provides businesses and consumers on both sides of the border access to affordable fresh tomatoes, pizza sauce, salsa, ketchup, and everything in between. Today’s tariffs represent a failure to launch and will, without a doubt, hit Americans’ pocketbooks and interrupt supply chains. I implore Secretary Ross and the Administration to continue negotiations in good faith and work toward a sustainable and mutually beneficial agreement.”
A number of constituents, many who dedicate themselves to the import of tomatoes into this country, have been in constant contact with Congressman Gonzalez on the issue.
Congressman Gonzalez has written letters to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, urging him and the Administration to renegotiate a mutually beneficial suspension agreement with Mexico and refrain from withdrawal.
Mexico exports about $2 billion worth of tomatoes to the United States every year.
The United States and Mexico have averted a trade war over tomatoes since the 1990s thanks to these suspension agreements. The most recent agreement took effect in 2013 and put a price floor on Mexican tomatoes sold in the United States while barring U.S. growers from pursuing anti-dumping charges against Mexican exporters. In February 2019, the Trump Administration announced its intention to withdraw from the agreement, effective May 7 unless both parties negotiated a new deal prior to that date. Because the U.S. and Mexico missed the May 7 deadline, Mexican tomato imports will now face a 17.5 percent tariff and the U.S. International Trade Commission will re-launch its anti-dumping investigation pending further action.