The protection for U.S. growers included in the Mexican proposal has a strong enforcement mechanism, Jungmeyer said, because it would cover 100% of Mexican growers instead of only 85% of them.
“There will be enforcement activities on both sides of the border to ensure compliance,” Jungmeyer said.
The Florida growers’ challenge of the tomato agreement spurred talk of a trade war, with some U.S. produce exporters fearful of Mexican retaliatory tariffs similar to those imposed when the U.S. failed to meet cross-border trucking provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
After the Commerce Department announced a preliminary decision to end the tomato trade agreement on Sept. 27, Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan, referenced the retaliatory tariffs that were up to 45% on some products.
“Mexico will respond: you should ask those who were in the Mexican crosshairs over the trucking dispute. When Mexico aims, Mexico hits the target,” Sarukhan said in an e-mail to U.S. media.
The Commerce Department has until May 2013 to reach a final decision on the request from the Florida growers.