ANNOUNCEMENT 08 Mar 2013
In March 2013, the United States renewed an existing (but suspended) anti-dumping order; in 2019 it lifted the suspension of this order and then reached a new suspension agreement.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
U.S. International Trade Commission at http://www.usitc.gov/trade_remedy/.
and https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2019/02/us-department-commerce-announces-intent-withdraw-suspension-agreement and https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2019/05/us-department-commerce-announces-termination-suspension-agreement-fresh and https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2019/08/us-department-commerce-announces-new-draft-suspension-agreement-fresh and https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2019/09/us-department-commerce-finalizes-suspension-agreement-fresh-tomatoes and https://usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2019/er1122ll1197.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
In a Federal Register notice published on March 8, 2013 the U.S. Department of Commerce renewed the existing anti-dumping order against imports of fresh tomatoes (suspended) from Mexico. The original order was imposed on November 1, 1996, with the renewed order thus exceeding the five-year 'sunset' standard that generally applies to trade-remedy measures under WTO agreements (i.e., article 21.3 of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and article 11.3 of the Anti-dumping Agreement).
On February 6, 2019, the Department of Commerce notified the Mexican signatories that the department intends to withdraw from the suspension agreement, consistent with a provision in the agreement stating that the "signatories or the Department may withdraw from this Agreement upon ninety days written notice to the other party.” With the written notification, Commerce intends to withdraw from the Agreement on May 7, 2019. Upon completion of the withdrawal, the Department of Commerce will continue with its investigation and notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its final determination. If the Department continues to find sales made at less than fair value in its final determination, the ITC will then complete its own investigation and make a final determination with respect to injury. If both Commerce and the ITC issue affirmative final determinations, an antidumping duty order will be issued.
On May 7, 2019 the Department of Commerce announced the termination of the 2013 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico, and that negotiations will continue regarding a possible revised agreement acceptable to the Mexican signatories which also addresses the concerns of the U.S. industry to the extent permissible by U.S. trade law. During the negotiations, Commerce will continue with the investigation and instruct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits or bonds based on the preliminary determination by Commerce, which was issued in 1996.
On November 22, 2019 the U.S. International Trade Commission determined that a U.S. industry is threatened with material injury by reason of imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. As a result of the determination, the suspension agreement that Commerce previously entered concerning fresh tomatoes from Mexico will remain in effect.
On August 20, 2019 the U.S. Department of Commerce initialed a draft agreement with Mexican tomato growers to suspend the ongoing antidumping investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. The draft suspension agreement sets reference prices for rounds and romas at $0.31/lb., stem-on tomatoes at $0.46/lb., tomatoes on the vine at $0.50/lb., specialty loose tomatoes at $0.49/lb., and specialty packed tomatoes at $0.59/lb., with organic tomatoes priced 40% higher than non-organics. It also closes loopholes from past suspension agreements that permitted sales below the reference prices, and includes a new inspection mechanism to prevent the importation of low-quality, poor-condition tomatoes from Mexico. The draft agreement allows the Department to audit up to 80 Mexican tomato producers per quarter, or more with good cause. The statute requires a 30-day notice period after today’s initialing of the draft agreement. At that point, on September 19, 2019, Commerce and the Mexican growers could sign a final agreement. If this occurs, Commerce will suspend the ongoing AD investigation without issuing a final determination.
On September 19, 2019 the U.S. Department of Commerce finalized an agreement with Mexican tomato growers to suspend the ongoing antidumping duty investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico, halting the process for imposing antidumping duties on tomatoes from Mexico. The department stated that the suspension agreement completely eliminates the injurious effects of unfairly priced Mexican tomatoes, prevents price suppression and undercutting, and eliminates substantially all dumping, while allowing Commerce to audit up to 80 Mexican tomato producers and U.S. sellers per quarter, or more with good cause. The department also said that the agreement closes loopholes from past suspension agreements that permitted sales below the reference prices in certain circumstances, and includes an inspection mechanism to prevent the importation of low-quality, poor-condition tomatoes from Mexico, which can have price-suppressive effects on the market.