The Department of Commerce recently announced that the U.S. will be withdrawing from the 2013 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross indicated in a statement that the decision is a result of complaints from American tomato growers that their prices are being undercut by imports. The six-year-old agreement prevented an anti-dumping investigation in exchange for Mexican growers agreeing to certain restrictions.
Since Washington first agreed to suspend anti-dumping cases in 1996, a group of nearly 50 U.S. lawmakers calling for action on the issue, report that Mexican tomato companies increased their share of the American market from 32 to 54 percent. The group also contends that between 1996 and 2017 the market share for U.S. tomato producers declined from 65 to 40 percent.
Withdrawing from the agreement could result in new duties on tomatoes from Mexico and higher consumer prices. The action could also spur retaliation from Mexico, as the two countries continue their work to address steel and aluminum tariffs. The official withdrawal is set to become effective beginning May 7.