Florida Tomato Growers Welcome Mexico Dumping Probe

TAMPA (970 WFLA) -- Florida tomato growers are welcoming the news that the Commerce Department will reopen an investigation into dumping of tomatoes on the U-S market by Mexico.

Farmers complained about dumping but the Obama administration suspended an investigation by the Commerce Department in 2013. The Trump administration reversed that ruling after a letter of encouragement signed by Senator Marco Rubio and almost the entire Florida Congressional delegation. Their letter called our state's tomato industry "the canary in the coal mine" because our winter crop competes most directly with Mexico.

Mexican tomatoes now account for almost 60 percent of the U.S. fresh tomato market, according to Michael Shrader with the Florida Tomato Exchange. It's showing up year round on supermarket shelves, competing with growers in northern states as well.

The investigation results could lead to anti-dumping sanctions against Mexico.

Ruskin, south of Tampa, is the historic center of Florida's tomato industry.

Photo credit: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images

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