FFVA Supports Termination of 2019 Tomato Suspension Agreement

Clint Thompson Tomatoes

The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) submitted a letter urging the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to approve the Florida Tomato Exchange’s (FTE) request to terminate the U.S.-Mexico Antidumping Tomato Suspension Agreement.

The FFVA emphasized the adverse impact of unfair subsidies provided by the Mexican government to its fruit and vegetable industry. The challenges faced by the tomato industry are similar to those in other specialty crops, including cucumbers, peppers, strawberries and watermelon. Mexican imports have led to declines in all of those Southeastern produce.

“It is time for the Commerce Department to effectively implement U.S. trade laws and recognize the current tomato suspension agreement is not working and should be terminated,” said FFVA President Mike Joyner in the letter.

The letter included vital statistics to support its argument. Mexican tomato imports have increased almost 400% since 1994. Mexico now controls more than 65% of the U.S. market. U.S. industry’s market share dropped from 80% to around 30%.


The FTE filed a request with the Department of Commerce to terminate the 2019 Tomato Suspension Agreement. In the letter, FTE emphasized that five different suspension agreements have tried to stop the unfair trade practices used by Mexican tomato exporters since 1996, but each agreement proved to be unenforceable. TheDOCopened an investigation in August at the request of FTE that could lead to anti-dumping duties on Mexican tomatoes.

“American farmers need a strong signal from the Administration that the unfair trade laws can work for them and not just for U.S. manufacturing companies,” Joyner added in the letter. “If the U.S. tomato industry is allowed to be lost to unfair Mexican competition, an important component of American’s nutritional needs will have to be served entirely by Mexico and other offshore suppliers.”

Click here to read the letter.