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US: Mexican tomato deal “invites antitrust concern,” says FPAA

 |  August 8, 2019

The Tomato Suspension Agreement proposed by the US Department of Commerce in July has flawed provisions, according to the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA). The group claims those provisions “infringe upon federal laws and are unlikely to survive antitrust and other legal actions that are sure to arise.

However, it believes that the Mexican growers’ proposal from August 5 “identifies a path forward that greatly reduces FPAA’s antitrust concerns” and “deserves full consideration by Commerce,” said FPAA president Lance Jungmeyer.

“We have made two trips to Washington to meet with the Department of Commerce to explain how the Commerce proposal gives unfair advantage to one type of US seller of Mexican tomatoes over other US sellers of Mexican tomatoes, yet the unjustifiable provisions remain,” said Jungmeyer.

“The Commerce proposal would allow repackers to profiteer on the condition of Mexican tomatoes at destination. By contrast, the new Mexican proposal provides a clear path to remove defective tomatoes from the marketplace. This is a step in the right direction.”

FPAA believes that the Department of Commerce is going “beyond its statutory authority” – particularly with sales price adjustments for defective tomatoes.

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