The end of the Tomato Suspension Agreement between the United States and Mexico could cost you at the grocery store.

By Maria Pasquini
May 09, 2019 03:25 PM
Credit: Manuel Velasquez/Getty

There could be bad news ahead for tomato lovers.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the United States would begin imposing a 17.5 percent tariff on imported Mexican tomatoes, which could leave to increased prices — and shortages.

This new tariff marks the end of the Tomato Suspension Agreement, which existed between Mexico and the United States for 22 years, before the Trump administration put an end to it, according to the Washington Post.

In addition to signifying a continued straining of U.S.-Mexico relations throughout Donald Trump‘s presidency, the new tariff could result in higher price tags at the grocery store.

In a new analysis from Arizona State University, economists predicted that prices for many types of tomatoes — including vine ripe, roma, cherry, and grape tomatoes — could increase by 40 to 85 percent.

From May through December, the economists predicted that consumers could pay up to 40 percent more for the products, while during the colder months of the year — when tomatoes are primarily only grown in the U.S. by Florida — the price could skyrocket to an 85 percent increase.

Citing the reason behind the price hike, the analysis explained that the increased costs would be a result of a reduced volume of tomatoes in the marketplace as a result of the new tariff.

“The unmistakable conclusion of the study is that withdrawing from the Tomato Suspension Agreement will cost American consumers substantially more for a product that has become a major part of their daily diets,” said Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, in a statement.

“Americans can’t afford this kind of sticker shock,” he added.

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In a statement announcing the termination of the trade agreement, the U.S. Department of Commerce shared that they will continue negotiations with Mexico in hopes of reaching a new agreement.

The Department went on to share that should an agreement be reached, the collected tariffs “will be refunded.”