As the migrant crisis at the U.S./Mexico border continues to heat up in Arizona, legislators are trying to preserve one crucial aspect of international relations: trade.

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A decades old agreement has caused a rift to open between Arizona and Florida that has the ability to turn the American economy on its head.

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Tomato Suspension Agreement

Regulating one of the most versatile and used fruits, the Tomato Suspension Agreement (TSA) has been in effect since 1996, and stands to regulate the prices of farm fresh tomatoes exported from Mexico to the United States.

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The agreement lasted for 23 years before it was updated in 2019. With Mexico taking the top spot globally for Tomato exports ($2.7 Billion in value) and the United States taking the top spot for imports ($3 Billion in value), keeping the TSA active is incredibly important to the U.S. economy.

Pushback Against TSA

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The TSA has been looked upon mostly favorably since its introduction in the late 90s. That doesn't mean that everyone is a fan, however. In mid-summer 2023 the Florida Tomato Exchange requested the dissolution of the TSA, believing that they "failed to stop unfairly traded Mexican tomatoes from destroying the U.S. tomato industry."

Florida's rebellion against this trade agreement is causing a stir, especially in Arizona who knows the border all too well. Thomas Shope, Arizona's Senate President Pro Tempore feels that cutting ties with this agreement could be catastrophic, leading to a 20.91% tariff on every tomato shipment.

Man looks distraught at a crashing market line
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This could potentially shatter the U.S. produce industry and general economy as a whole. While it's unclear whether Florida's complaints will remove this long standing agreement, Arizona will fight tooth and nail to preserve one of the most profitable agreements with our southern neighbors.

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