On Sept. 19, Commerce finalized an agreement with Mexican tomato growers to suspend the AD investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico, halting the process for imposing antidumping duties on tomatoes from Mexico.
“Today’s successful outcome validates the administration’s strong and smart approach to negotiating trade deals,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said. “The department’s action brought the Mexican growers to the negotiating table and led to a result that protects U.S. tomato producers from unfair trade. It also removes major uncertainties for the Mexican growers and their workers.”
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.
In addition, the agreement also 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.
The probe came from a Nov. 14, 2018, request from the Florida Tomato Exchange.
The U.S. Department of Commerce on Sept. 23 announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of dried tart cherries from Turkey, finding that exporters sold dried tart cherries at less than fair value at rates ranging from 541.29 to 648.35 percent and received countervailable subsidies at a rate of 204.93 percent.
Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of dried tart cherries from Turkey based on these preliminary rates.
Investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by the Dried Tart Cherry Trade Committee, whose members include Cherry Central Cooperative (Traverse City, Michigan), Graceland Fruit, Inc. (Frankfort, Michigan), Payson Fruit Growers Coop (Payson, Utah), Shoreline Fruit, LLC (Traverse City, Michigan) and Smeltzer Orchard Co. (Frankfort, Michigan). In 2018, imports of dried tart cherries from Turkey were valued at an estimated $1.2 million.
Commerce is scheduled to announce its final AD and CVD determinations on or about Dec. 5. If affirmative final determinations are made, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will be scheduled to make its final injury determinations on or about Jan. 21, 2020. Only if both Commerce and the ITC make affirmative final injury determinations will AD and CVD orders be issued. Any negative final determinations end the investigations with no orders issued.