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Rick Scott: Mexico’s Tomato Dumping Hurts Florida Farmers, Calls for Commerce Department to Terminate Suspension Agreement

At the end of last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent a letter to Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo reiterating his request for the immediate termination of a 2019 suspension agreement.

This agreement has allowed Mexico’s tomato exports to continue flooding the domestic market without accountability from the Department of Commerce. This practice, known as dumping, is hurting local farmers and forcing them to close down their farms. Scott requested duties to be placed on Mexican tomato imports and also a call with Raimondo to discuss this matter. This letter is a follow up from June 2023 when Scott made the initial request.

The letter is below.

Dear Secretary Raimondo:

I am writing to reiterate my support of a request to immediately terminate the 2019 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico (“Suspension Agreement”) and to urge you to impose antidumping duties on imports of unfairly traded Mexican tomatoes as required by law. More than two months have passed since you received my initial letter, signed by 59 Members of Congress, urging termination of the Suspension Agreement. I have yet to receive a response to that letter.

See also  Rick Scott Joins Sen. Rand Paul in Letter Requesting Hearing on Threat of Terrorists Exploiting Southern Border

While you have ignored Congress, you have also allowed six weeks to pass since the comment period on this issue closed, and we have yet to receive a determination. The facts of this case have been clearly presented to the Commerce Department, and further inaction will continue to hurt American farmers.

As I stated in my initial letter, Mexico’s tomato dumping has hit small family operations particularly hard, and the impacts have been profoundly damaging to rural economies. After 27 years, it is clear that the loopholes in the suspension agreements being exploited by Mexican producers cannot be closed, and the domestic industry will face further material injury if necessary actions are not taken.

I respectfully request a meeting with you to discuss this critical matter that impacts tomato growers in Florida.


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