US, Mexico in weekend talks on tomato pact
The two sides hope to reach an agreement by a Monday deadline, the official told Reuters, while declining to characterize how close the two sides were.
The department made a preliminary decision in September to terminate a 1996 US-Mexico tomato trade agreement after Florida growers complained the arrangement did not protect them against Mexican tomatoes sold below the cost of production.
Mexican growers export about $1.9 billion worth of tomatoes to the United States each year. They say Florida producers have not kept pace with new growing techniques that have produced a tastier Mexican tomato and propelled sales in the United States.
The two sides now are discussing a price at which Mexico can sell its tomatoes in the United States without giving them what Florida growers say is an unfair advantage.
Terminating the trade agreement would clear the way for Florida growers to file a new anti-dumping case against Mexico, possibly leading to steep punitive duties on the imports. US business groups say such action would cause tomato prices to soar for American consumers.
The decision to end the trade agreement upset Mexican growers, who had offered to renegotiate the pact. They argue the agreement has benefited US consumers and brought stability to the North American market.
Mexican officials said the US move appeared to be motivated by a desire to help President Barack
Be the first to comment.