“The U.S. restaurant and foodservice industry annual purchases of imported Mexico tomatoes are estimated at 1 billion pounds and accounts for roughly 15% of total U.S. Mexico tomato import consumption ... (The termination) could result in volatility in tomato prices for restaurant and foodservice operators and their customers” according to the National Restaurant Association.
Other supporters point out the tomato agreement expires in December and would have been renegotiated then. They suggest Florida growers want to initiate another anti-dumping investigation after the agreement is terminated.
“We believe that this is an effort to manipulate the U.S. marketplace by erecting a trade barrier with Mexico. Representatives of the Florida tomato industry have publicly stated that they want to initiate a new anti-dumping case,” wrote Walter Ram, vice president of food safety for the Bakersfield, Calif.-based Giumarra Cos.
“Pandol Brothers has been involved in five dumping cases over the years. Nobody wins. I watched a small group of California grape growers, basically five companies, ... file an anti-dumping case. This is exactly what is shaping up here, a small special interest protecting its turf with total disregard for the damage they may do to other U.S. export industries,” wrote John Pandol, partner at Pandol Brothers Inc., Delano, Calif.
John Keeling, chief executive officer for the National Potato Council, predicted a no-win scenario if the agreement is terminated.
“It will be very unfortunate if this devolves into a shooting war because this becomes a tit-for-tat and in the end, nobody wins,” Keeling told the New York Times.