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 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 United States.