The new Tomato Anti-Dumping Suspension Agreement signed by Mexico and the United States in September 2019 contemplated the suspension of the 21% tariff on tomato exports but included the inspection of the quality of the product upon arrival in the United States, which will be in force as of March 2020, as established in the agreement.
Given the uncertainty that has arisen among Mexican exporters, the undersecretary and trade negotiator for North America, Jesus Seade, has assured that the country will not allow quality inspections of Mexican tomatoes at the border to be harmful to trade.
"Inspections of Mexican tomatoes can be carried out too slowly or in too much detail, so they can take 12 hours or 3 days," he added. "That would greatly affect trade, so they have to be conducted in an expeditious manner," he said.
"The inspection of the merchandise depends on how it is carried out. If you want to harm trade, then you examine each tomato, which would take three days and the tomatoes would rot. If you want to be efficient, then you carry out an expedited inspection which takes 12 or 14 hours; a day doesn't do so much damage to the product," he said.