U.S., Mexican growers reach tomato deal, U.S. says

WASHINGTON Sat Feb 2, 2013 9:51pm EST

WASHINGTON Feb 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. government and Mexican tomato growers reached a tentative agreement on Saturday that reduces the threat of a costly trade war stemming from a U.S. decision last year to pull out of a 1996 bilateral tomato trade pact.

"I am pleased that we were able to come to an agreement on fresh tomato imports from Mexico that restores stability and confidence to the U.S. tomato market and meets the requirements of U.S. law," U.S. Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez said in a statement.

The draft agreement substantially raises the minimum "reference" price at which Mexican tomatoes can be sold in the United States and accounts for changes that have occurred in the tomato market since the original agreement, Sanchez said. (Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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