2 Ariz. Senators Urge Keeping Mexico 'Tomato Pact'

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) -- Two Arizona state senators are warning that Nogales could lose its entire produce industry if the U.S. Department of Commerce terminates a fresh tomato importation trade agreement with Mexico.

The Nogales International reports (http://bit.ly/SKc0CF) that state Sens. Linda Lopez and Jerry Lewis say Nogales, Ariz. will lose the $1.3 billion fresh tomato business and risks losing its entire $3 billion produce industry including hundreds of jobs if the pact ends.

The Commerce Department announced last month that it intends to terminate a tomato agreement that has governed the price of imported Mexican tomatoes since 1996. The announcement came after a petition from Florida-based tomato growers.

The growers had complained that their Mexican counterparts have been taking advantage of the Tomato Suspension Agreement to "dump" their product in the U.S.

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