The following statement was released by the Florida Tomato Exchange announcing that documents had been filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission indicating the interest of the petitioners to withdraw the anti-dumping duty petition that had been filed in 1996 thereby terminating the suspended investigations and the current suspension agreement.

"Sixteen years ago, the Florida Tomato Exchange, along with other tomato growers across the U.S. filed an anti-dumping petition requesting relief from unfairly traded imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico.   

“The U.S. government, after examining the facts, determined that there was reason to believe that the subject tomatoes were being sold in the U.S. at less than fair value at margins as high as 188.45 percent.

“Their findings came as no surprise to the petitioning growers whose sales and operations had been devastated by unfairly traded tomatoes from Mexico," said Reggie Brown, Executive Vice President of the Florida Tomato Exchange.

“The U.S. government suspended action on the investigation and entered into a suspension agreement with the Mexican producers and exporters.   

“That suspension agreement was rejected six years later by Mexican growers and a new suspension agreement was soon implemented.

“Five years later, Mexican growers once again rejected the agreement that was in place and, again, shortly thereafter a third — and the current agreement — was put in place," Reggie continued.

"Over this entire period U.S. growers have been the victims of gamesmanship and evasive actions by Mexican growers. Imports today are roughly three times the value they were when the case was first brought, with a staggering level of imports of roughly $1.8 billion last year.  

“There has been virtually no change in the underlying reference price in the three suspension agreements that are supposed to reflect Mexican costs of production.   

“Sixteen years after the case was first filed, clearly, the cost of production has risen, but that is not the basis for the agreement that's in place. It's time to end the charade and restore fair prices that reflect market reality," Jimmy Grainger, President of the Florida Tomato Exchange stated.

"The Florida Tomato Exchange, along with growers across this country reflecting a majority of domestic production have filed with the government a letter withdrawing their 1996 petition so as to terminate the process and the existing suspension agreement.