San Antonio, TX, Aug. 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NatureSweet® Tomatoes (NatureSweet.com) is pleased that the U.S. Department of Commerce was able to secure a new Suspension Agreement between the fresh tomato industries in the U.S. and Mexico prior to the August 20, 2019 deadline. The temporary duties that were put in place in May will be lifted once the agreement is in force on September 19th after a 30-day public comment period. Most of the tomato varieties NatureSweet® imports from Mexico will not be affected by the new inspection regime-a win all around for NatureSweet®!
NatureSweet® occupies a unique position in the fresh tomato industry as a U.S. company with operations on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. With a mission to transform the lives of agricultural workers, NatureSweet® has transformed the industry. Due to their unique position in the market, NatureSweet® testified at the International Trade Commission (ITC) hearing in March of 2019 and were actively engaged with officials and legislators from both sides of the border since September of 2018. As a U.S. and Mexican grower, they were active in the resolution.
“We are certainly happy that Commerce was able to secure a New Suspension Agreement. This means stability in the market and relief from an excessive tariff of 17.56% on all fresh tomatoes imported from Mexico, including NatureSweet’s premium vine ripened greenhouse grown tomatoes (e.g. Cherubs®, Glorys®, Constellation™, and Comets™) that U.S., Canadian, and Mexican consumers have grown to love” said Skip Hulett, Vice President & General Counsel for NatureSweet®.
According to Bryant Ambelang, CEO and Executive Chairman, “we are relieved that this recent commercial dispute is finally over and we can focus all our attention on producing the best tasting tomatoes in the market. At NatureSweet®, we have the best employees and are very proud of how they have managed through this tariff to find a way to provide for our customers and consumers. We will continue to serve as responsible trade partners with our United States growing neighbors to ensure we’re meeting our customers’ demands responsibly. We are also very grateful for the support our bipartisan Congressional delegation provided as we attempted to get the Department of Commerce to consider our views.”