The US is at war… with Mexican tomatoes, and fans of the fruit will pay the price

After 22 years, the US Department of Commerce has ended the Tomato Suspension Agreement with Mexico -- a move that could hike tomato prices exponentially.

May 10, 2019

After 22 years, the US Department of Commerce has blown up an agreement that manages tomato exports from Mexico.

Now, a 17.5% tariff has been put on the fruit; a tax that, according to Quartz, will likely be transferred to American tomato lovers.

Many American farmers are on board

Tomatoes are Mexico’s largest agricultural export to the US, with more than half of all tomatoes sold in the states coming from the neighboring nation.

But American farmers (mostly from Florida — America’s leading tomato grower) insist that Mexico’s vice grip on tomato exports is because Mexican tomato farmers have exploited the agreement by flooding the market and artificially inflating prices.

Hold the tomato

While summer months are covered, if the US and Mexico don’t come to a compromise, price hikes could spike during the cold seasons.

And if Mexican growers decide to focus on other crops in response to the news, a study from Arizona State predicts prices could grow by as much as 40%.

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