Mexico Says Tariffs Will Send Tomato Prices Soaring
Mexico's Economy Department says U.S. consumers could pay 38% to 70% more for tomatoes after the U.S. Commerce Department announced it would re-impose anti-dumping duties on Mexican imports.
The Mexican agency says the country exports about $2 billion in tomatoes to the United States and supplies about half the tomatoes the U.S. consumes annually.
It said Tuesday that many small- and medium-sized Mexican tomato exporters won't be able to pay the deposits required to export.
The deposits required to comply with the 17.5% tariff would amount to about $350 million, money that many Mexican producers don't have.
In March the Commerce Department announced it was ending a 2013 suspension agreement in which Mexican growers promised to sell at fair prices, and that it would reinstate the 1996 tariffs.
The Florida Tomato Exchange, a trade group, weclomed the news. "The failure of the suspension agreement and the continued dumping of Mexican tomatoes has negatively impacted tomato growers around the country during all growing seasons," the group said in a March statement.
Florida and California lead the nation in tomato production.