While earlier this week the Florida Tomato Exchange (FTE) asked the US Department of Commerce to withdraw from the agreement, eliminate the reference prices and resume the 1996 investigation, FTE is not a signatory to the agreement and represents only a small portion of the US industry, sources say. Accordingly, FTE cannot compel such an action.
The Mexican signatories said they are disappointed that FTE would make this request. According to them, FTE did not raise any issues for the first five years of the agreement and its recent claims are all directly contradicted by US Department of Agriculture data and the US Department of Commerce’s own finding to date. “FTE’s request is quite surprising, given the large volume of Mexican tomatoes FTE members like Lipman, Procacci, DiMare and Pacific Tomato Growers, purchase and distribute in the United States,” says Mario Robles, director of the Sinaloa association. “We can’t figure it out.”
The Mexican signatories say they have been working with the Commerce Department for over five years to rigorously enforce the agreement, and have been working since June on a number of enhanced monitoring and enforcement provisions designed to further strengthen the framework that has been in place since 2013. The Mexican signatories intend to continue this effort.
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