Mexican growers propose higher tomato floor prices

10/19/2012 02:57:00 PM
Coral Beach

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.


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Max    
Immokalee  |  October, 22, 2012 at 09:10 AM

The "floor price" that Mexico exports at, needs to be at of very near the "market price" that Florida producers are receiving daily during the season. This means more money for Mexican producers and a "FAIR DEAL" for Florida producers. There can be NO other WAY!

Bobby    
Bradenton,FL  |  October, 22, 2012 at 09:38 AM

No "Floor Price" is going to work unless Commerce has the manpower and "knowledge" to police it. This is by no means a "Win" for US Tomato Growers because there has been no accountabilty since the agrrement was inked 16-years ago.

MM    
AZ  |  October, 22, 2012 at 09:50 AM

@Max - I understand what you are saying, and on the one hand it makes sense that the "minimum" price should be what the Florida producers are receiving on a daily basis. This is what occurs in a completely free market economy with one exeption. The problem is that with an extremely perishable product, people are willing to (and must) sell at below cost from time to time to avoid a complete loss on the product. You know it, I know, the dumping laws do not account for it. I would love for any Florida tomato grower to tell me that they themselves have not sold product at a price below the CURRENT minimum price, much less the proposed new reference price. Do you honestly think a single Florida grower would be amenable to THAT agreement? of course not. @Bobby - No accountability? How many times has anyone filed a formal complaint claiming a breach of the agreement? Not once. People can whine and complain and moan all they want but unless something is ever actually proven to have happened, anecdotal evidence is worthless.

Will    
Dallas, TX  |  October, 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM

'FAIR TRADE" VS "FREE TRADE" Middle class is hurting 23 million people+ are out of work or stopped looking We cannot afford to ship our jobs over seas this is a microcosism of our underlining economic problems best served if you read a copy "The Betrayal of the American Dream" by Donald Bartlett Amazon '

Organicfarmer    
Western North Carolina  |  October, 29, 2012 at 07:34 PM

What we need is an extra added to equal the diffence the farmer pays in labor. established yearly on the previous years averages. I wish I had labor as cheap as they do. It seems to me the Mexicans, along with the rest of Central America, will become our growers... we can either let them do it here where we can watch them and they have to pay the same overhead on payroll and equal wages, or else it is giving up growing vegetables anywhere in the US.

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