BTA Urges Department of Commerce to Renegotiate Tomato Suspension Agreement
The Border Trade Alliance (BTA) is urging the U.S. Department of Commerce “to continue renegotiation for a Tomato Suspension Agreement that addresses U.S. grower concerns within U.S. trade law” after the U.S. said it would be withdrawing from a six-year-old trade agreement with Mexico on May 7.
In the release, BTA says that “using the levers of government to erect new barriers to tomato trade with Mexico doesn’t just hurt business, though—it hurts consumers, who would pay more for the vine-ripened tomatoes they have come to prefer.”
A coalition of nearly 80 businesses sent a letter to Commerce stating that withdrawing would cause importers to face hundreds of millions of dollars in duties. The letter also references a recent University of Arizona study that finds that tomato imports are responsible for more than 30,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $3 billion in U.S. GDP.
“Withdrawing from the Tomato Suspension Agreement could not only lead to retaliation from one of our leading trade partners,” writes BTA President Britton Clarke, “but could also complicate ongoing efforts to adopt the USMCA.”