U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer promises tomato growers in the southeast United States that he will address their concerns about imported Mexican tomatoes. Trade Vistas Dot Com says American producers are upset about the surging numbers of Mexican tomato imports under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade.
The United States is the second-largest producer of tomatoes in the world, but with each American eating an average of more than 20 pounds of tomatoes every year, imports are necessary to satisfy the high demand. Mexico is the largest exporter in the world and the top international supplier to the U.S. Fresh produce growers in the Southeast U.S. say Mexico is continuing to undercut their prices, dumping cheap fruits and vegetables into the U.S. market during their peak harvest time.
The USDA and the Department of Commerce recently held two hearings to collect feedback on whether trade policies are harming America’s seasonal produce growers. Following those hearings, Lighthizer says he is working with Ag Secretary Perdue and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to come up with a plan to address grower concerns by Sept. 1.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)