The Department of Commerce has announced a preliminary dumping margin of 25.28% on Mexican tomato imports following its investigation whether tomatoes from Mexico are being dumped into the U.S.
That determination, however, is preliminary, and it could fluctuate before Commerce announces its final decision Sept. 19. Then the International Trade Commission will eventually determine if there is injury resulting from Mexican tomatoes entering the U.S.
In the meantime, the Commerce Department and Mexican growers can still negotiate a new suspension agreement that would stop the anti-dumping investigation again.
Michael Schadler, executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange, said the July 23 memo on its findings “refutes the recent Mexican claims that the data they submitted to the (Department of Commerce) would prove that Mexican tomatoes are not being dumped into the U.S. market.
“Evidence that the Mexicans are dumping is not surprising news to domestic tomato growers who compete every day against unfairly traded Mexican imports,” Schadler said in a July 26 e-mail.
Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, Nogales, Ariz., said the Mexican growers have been notified of the Commerce Department’s findings.
“We’ve been in touch with the lawyers for the Mexican growers, and they believe the 0% margins that they submitted to Commerce will eventually prevail,” Jungmeyer said in a July 26 e-mail. “We will await the results of the ITC ruling, which will guide the ultimate decision.”
Schadler said a verdict from the ITC, which would follow a hearing on the matter, won’t be known until November.
“The U.S. tomato industry looks forward to showing the U.S. International Trade Commission that it has been injured by the surging unfairly traded Mexican imports,” Schadler said in the e-mail. “Since 1994, according to USDA, tomato imports have flooded the U.S., increasing from just 20% of the market in 1994 to 60% by 2017.