The United States And Mexico Come To An Agreement Regarding Tomato Tariff
Mexico and the United States have put an end to a four month long tit for tat regarding tomato tariffs. The United States has agreed to avoid an anti dumping investigation, and tariffs imposed on Mexican tomatoes will end.
On Wednesday Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez announced that by mutual agreement the tomato tariff was over. In fact, the present agreement has specific terms in it, that both sides must adhere to.
Most of the tomatoes from Mexico coming across the boarding into the U.S will be inspected. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador considers the agreement a win for Mexico. Manuel and the Trump administration have been doing battle for the last few months, this is considered a reprieve.
The U.S. Commerce Department in May imposed a 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomatoes. Both sides have been trying to come to terms with a new deal ever since.
Mexico- Economy Minister Calls The New Agreement ‘Good News’
The agreement was reached around midnight on August 20th Minister Marquez said on Wednesday. She added, ‘a lot of good people from both sides worked very hard and consistently on this agreement’.
The U.S. Markets are now open for tomato importers in Mexico, this is great news for consumers. While the tariff was in place the prices of tomatoes from Mexico were steadily rising. Furthermore, a standing order was in place that required a deal to be reached by Tuesday.
The deadline was met just in time, as negotiators worked through the night to seal the deal. This deal allows the Commerce Department to complete their anti dumping investigation by September 30. The deal was announced in a joint statement by the Economy Minister and a few Mexican Agricultural Associations.
Some Mexican Agricultural Associations Have Concerns About Parts Of The Deal
The press conference announcing the deal was attended by Minister Marquez and SPTN, a Mexican Tomato producing group. SPTN was quick to point out that they are pleased with the deal but had a concerns about an accord included in the deal.
The accord says that 92% of all Mexican tomatoes going into the U.S will be inspected at the boarder. According to the U.S. Negotiators, the reason for the caveat in the deal, is only for ‘quality control purposes’.
The deal also proposed a 40% raise in cost of organic tomatoes coming out of Mexico. The 40% price increase will only be added to organic tomatoes not regular ones. In fact, this agreement was reached after several versions were rejected by the Mexican negotiators.
Early in August a deal was presented that called for all tomatoes coming out of Mexico to be be inspected at the boarder. That deal was rejected, and the 92% was a compromise. President Lopez Obrador and President Trump’s relationship has been somewhat frosty at times over tariffs and immigration issues. Furthermore, the tomato tariff issue was at play before Trump took office.