For the first two months without the tomato suspension agreement with the U.S., both volume and value of U.S. imports of Mexican tomatoes have fallen below year-ago levels.
The suspension agreement between Mexican growers and the Commerce Department ended May 7, after which the U.S. imposed a 17.56% duty on imports.
U.S. Department of Agriculture trade statistics show that combined U.S. imports of Mexican tomatoes in May and June totaled 274,000 metric tons, down 6% from the same two months in 2018.
By value, combined U.S. imports of Mexican tomatoes in May and June were about $242 million, down 20% from $304 million in the same two months a year ago.
Negotiations for a new tomato suspension agreement appear to be stuck in early August, with Mexican tomato growers claiming proposals from the Department of Commerce are unworkable and suggesting that U.S. exports of agricultural commodities to Mexico could be subject to similar obstacles that Mexican tomatoes face in the U.S.
In statement on Aug. 5, the Florida Tomato Exchange said Mexican tomato growers are urging the Mexican government retaliate against American agricultural products that are exported to Mexico if the Department of Commerce doesn’t eliminate its proposal for border inspections of Mexican tomatoes under a new suspension agreement.
“Mexican tomato growers are free to reject the proposal from the DOC but negotiating by blackmail will not work,” the exchange said in a statement. “If the Mexican growers and the DOC can’t agree on an enforceable agreement, then the antidumping investigation should simply run its full course without yet another suspension agreement.”