Last week, Arizona Members of Congress from Arizona sent a bipartisan letter to US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, urging him to protect what they consider an important import.
The letter stated: “We write to you today increasingly concerned over efforts from certain regional interests to curb the import of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. Erecting new barriers to trade in fruits and vegetables risks hurting American consumers and the United States agriculture industry.”
The letter refers to the Trump administration’s plan to pull out of the nation’s 2013 Tomato Suspension Agreement with Mexico on May 7, which was announced last month.
The Arizona delegation said they urge the Department of Commerce to renegotiate a deal that addresses the concerns of US growers: “Terminating the agreement without the certainty provided by a revised suspension agreement would create economic uncertainty throughout the supply chain and risk retaliation to our agriculture industry.”
Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, said in a press release that without the agreement, Arizona importers would have to pay a 17.5 percent duty on Mexican tomatoes.
Ktar.com quoted him as saying: “This will force Arizona tomato distributing companies to pay hundreds of millions of dollars just to be able to stay in business. Without a Suspension Agreement, produce warehouses in Southern Arizona will face extreme hardship and potential closure.”