Other Voices - The Packer

Other Voices

10/05/2012 09:36:00 AM
The Packer staff

Southwest Florida tomato growers say ditching Mexican trade agreement saves jobs

Naples Daily News — by Tracy X. Miguel, Sept. 29

IMMOKALEE — Southwest Florida tomato growers like Frank Ochoa soon may get a break from years of tough competition from Mexican growers.

And it may keep farmers like Ochoa from folding. He was reacting Friday to a preliminary decision made Thursday by President Barack Obama’s administration toward terminating a 16-year-old tomato trade agreement with Mexico following a request from growers in Florida, an important swing state in the presidential election.

Growers maintain that a 1996 U.S.-Mexico agreement continues to hurt the state because Mexican growers are selling their tomatoes at unfairly low prices in the U.S., below a floor price, or minimum selling price, for the fruit they ship into this country.

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