WASHINGTON (AP) — The Commerce Department indicated Thursday it may side with Florida tomato growers and squash a 16-year-old trade agreement with Mexico.
The move would allow U.S. growers to seek anti-dumping duties on imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. Tomato growers in Florida have sought to have the agreement ended, arguing that it is outdated and that Mexican imports are crippling the domestic industry.
Mexico's government says such a move would damage its trade relations with the United States, its partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement. It said the country's trade in tomatoes with the United States was worth over $1.8 billion in 2011.
The Commerce Department says it will make a final determination on the future of the tomato agreement in no later than 270 days.