Campaign to save tomato agreement advances

10/01/2012 04:33:00 PM
Coral Beach

Save My Tomato advertisementCourtesy Save My TomatoThose campaigning for the continuation of a 16-year-old tomato trade agreement with Mexico are publishing this advertisement asking the Obama Administration to retain the agreement.Business representatives from the U.S. are continuing a campaign to save a 16-year-old tomato trade agreement with Mexico in the form of a consumer website and an Oct. 2 media teleconference.

The website, www.savemytomato.com, includes a six-page list of supporters ranging from produce companies to members of Congress. It also includes frequently asked questions about the tomato trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico.

The Oct. 2 press conference is scheduled to include leaders from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Foreign Trade Council. Also on the agenda are John McClung, president of the Texas International Produce Association, Mission, Texas, and Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, Nogales, Ariz.

Among the concerns of the business leaders is the potential loss of billions of dollars in trade, as well as American jobs, according to a news release.

Terminating the agreement would be disastrous, Jungmeyer said in the release, leading to job losses in many U.S. industries, increased prices to U.S. consumers and a trade war with Mexico that could have a devastating impact on U.S. export industries.

Leaders from the U.S. Chamber said in the release that ending the tomato agreement would threaten the trading relationship with the country’s second-largest export market, which could spur the new Mexican administration to impose retaliatory measures against U.S. businesses.

Florida tomato growers asked the U.S. Department of Commerce to end the tomato agreement that has governed the price of imported Mexican tomatoes since 1996.



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Gary    
Cincinnati  |  October, 02, 2012 at 09:12 AM

I do not agree that terminating the agreement would cost thousands of jobs or increased retail prices. There is a ceiling to what most consumers will pay and most retailers are at that limit now. Plus, if Mexico charges a high tariff, the lack of an agreement creates less supply which leads to higher prices. This is just what Florida growers are looking for. Control other producers so they (FTC) can demand more $$$ instead of creating a better tomato, more varieties and, are you ready for this, even protected agriculture. It's time to produce demand for your product, FTC, instead of limiting your competition.

jb    
fl  |  October, 02, 2012 at 10:09 PM

What they are trying to do is stop mexico from sending cheap tomatoes across the border at a price cheaper than they can be grown in the US. $5.00, will not cover the cost of harvesting, the box, the cooling, sales, and shipping, much less the grow costs and regulations our gov inposes on US growers. Figure it cost you $8000 per acre to grow, with a yeild of 2000/Acre, you are looking at $4.00 grow cost on top of the $5.00 for harvest etc. you are looking at a $9.00 breakeven price,whereas mexico can make money at $5.00 and lots of this is because of the restrictions our gov. puts on us while letting mexican tomatoes waltze across the border un-inspected. You cant get OUT of Florida without being inspected, but it sure is easy to get them in!

anonymous    
October, 02, 2012 at 10:58 AM

N Wholesale tomatoes already cost American farmers. There are no windows of opportunity anymore and in the summer when we can raise tomatoes in the SE, we couldn't get enough money to pay to have them picked. We already went out of the tomato business, thanks to Mexican tomatoes. We are a family farm, not a huge conglomerate, but we did raise a lot of tomatoes. Now we can't.

Steve Layton    
California  |  October, 02, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Am assuming that Mexico can subtantiate non dumping of tomatoes and this issue at this particuilar time is not electioon "salve" to garnish Florida votes. If so, terminating the agreement appears to be the continued desire to protect and increase returns for Florida grown tomatoes. It would appear that such regional industry protection would certainly raise consumer prices at retail and food service, disrupt the current effective national distribution chain, with it's jobs and infrastructure and be a 'cannon shot' at the NAFTA agreed free market flow of goods, including fresh produce between countries. We have had retaliatory tarriff experience with cross-border trucking that ricochet through the apple and pear industries. This is not the time to initiate another trade wr with Mexico

QW    
FL  |  October, 02, 2012 at 12:54 PM

So why are the U.S. tomato growers the chosen patsies of NAFTA? Is there any other product traded under NAFTA that is a 50% foreign import (it was 20% 15 yrs ago)? MEXICO, MEXICAN GROWERS, BROKERS OF MEXICAN PRODUCT, OTHERS MAKING HUGE PROFITS ON INTENTIONALLY UNDERPRICED MEXICAN PRODUCT: The United States owes you nothing, your product is FOREIGN and when a foreign product gains such a dominating advantage in a market because of grossly cheap labor, lax regulations, and questionable financing (read into that as you may)... its time for a change. There are enough business struggling and going out because of the current economic situation, why continue that trend in the farming industry over an extremely manipulated and outdated suspension agreement that clearly is not working to protect the U.S. farmer?

William Genitempo    
Dallas Texas  |  October, 02, 2012 at 03:20 PM

DITTO GARY'S COMMENTS!

    
October, 03, 2012 at 03:48 PM

You're either utterly confused or just plain stupid. The tomatoes are inspected before being sent out to grocery stores and other vendors. Please get your facts straight.

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