If the anti-dumping complaint against Mexican tomatoes is not resolved positively by May 7, when it expires, the Mexican tomato will have to pay a 17.9 percent tax the next day, said Ulises Robles Gamez.
This would put the productive capacity of horticultural companies, exports, the income of many areas throughout the country, and thousands of jobs in serious danger, stated the president of the Confederation of Agricultural Associations of the State of Sinaloa (Caades).
The agricultural leader said that any company forced to pay such a high tax on the value of its total production would face a decrease in cash, which is why a large number of people have joined to defend the tomato of Sinaloa and all of Mexico.
"We are taking steps in the United States, with law firms specialized in the subject, and with the full support of the Mexican federal government and the state government."
Before the entry into force of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Florida tomatoes comprised up to 60 percent of the supply in the United States:
"Twenty five years ago, 6.5 out of every 10 tomatoes consumed by Americans were from Florida, and 3.5 were from Mexico. Now, slightly more than half of them are from Mexico, and 45 percent are from Florida. They say Mexican tomatoes are winning over consumers, but it's just that they are more competitive," he said.
Sergio Esquer Peiro said that finding other markets for the Mexican tomato wasn't a favorable option for Mexican producers because of each country's conditions: "Canada produces tomato. So it wouldn't be an option in summer, since the start of March. Obviously, producers would have to look for other countries where they don't have to pay tariffs, but this is not a solution for Mexico at all," said the president of the Association of Farmers of the Culiacán River (AARC).