MAITLAND, Fla. — Although the Department of Commerce and the Mexican tomato growers agreed on an updated suspension agreement for imported tomatoes back in March, the Florida tomato farmers are contesting the deal.
The suspension agreement, which suspends an anti-dumping duty investigation by the U.S. government, raised the floor prices on tomatoes imported from Mexico. There has been a suspension agreement in place since 1996.
The Florida tomato growers do not think the floor prices inlcuded in the agreement are high enough.
“Farming is one of America’s most important industries, and most enduring ways of life,” said Reggie Brown, executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange in a statement. “Tomato farmers in Florida and across America can compete favorably in a market that is both free and fair.”
Read more: Mexico Tomato Agreement Finalized
The Florida Tomato Farmers’ lawsuit with the U.S. Court of International Trade argues that the agreement does not comply “with federal laws designed to ensure fair trade on imported goods,” the group said.
“Since day one, we have simply been seeking to have any suspension agreement negotiated by the Commerce Department with the Mexican exporters comply with the very specific provisions of U.S. law. We don’t believe that the recently concluded suspension agreement does,” said Brown. “Our only recourse is to place the question of whether the agreement meets the requirements of the law before the U.S. Court of International Trade.”
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