Ward 5 Councilmember Richard Fimbres has brought forward a resolution for Mayor and Council consideration for the City to go on record supporting the Tomato Suspension Agreement.
Councilmember Fimbres placed this on the agenda, after the recent visit by the Governor of the State of Sinaloa, Mario Lopez Valdez, in Tucson. Discussions between the Governor and the City of Tucson included the Tomato Suspension Agreement and potential economic ramifications if this 16 year old agreement, between the United States and Mexico is terminated.
The U.S. Department of Commerce made its intentions official on October 2 by publishing a notice of intent to terminate the agreement in the Federal Register. The department has nine months before it must make a final decision.
“Mexico’s trade with the United States and Arizona is important and if this agreement is terminated, the price of goods, let alone tomatoes could be raised through tariffs,” said Councilmember Richard Fimbres.
“The tomato industry is a $3.5 billion annual business for both countries and is a billion dollar economic business for commerce for Tucson, Southern Arizona and the entire state,” Fimbres went on to say. “Consumers have depended upon this to ensure that tomatoes are an integral part of their diets.”
Councilmember Fimbres stated, “In 2011, Arizona alone imported more than $6.2 billion in produce and goods from Mexico.” “If this agreement is suspended or revoked, it will do harm to the economies on both sides of the border, something neither can afford during these economic times.”
“More than 110,000 Arizona jobs are dependent on trade with Mexico,” Fimbres commented, citing U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Bureau information. “It is important that all action be taken to protect these jobs.”
Arizona Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain, as well as Congressman Raul Grijalva, Ed Pastor, Ron Barber, Paul Gosar and Ben Quayle have written letters in support of the agreement to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild has also written a letter as well urging the U.S. Department of Commerce to uphold the agreement.
“This is not a partisan issue, but one of economics,” Fimbres said. “We can’t turn our back on the global economy now, too much is at stake and too much could be lost if this agreement isn’t continued.”
This memorial will be on the November 7 Mayor and Council agenda for discussion and consideration of action.