Estimates are that nearly one out of two tomatoes eaten in the United States comes from Mexico — a statistic Florida growers would like to change, even at the risk of a trade war.
On Thursday, they got a reason to hope.
The United States Department of Commerce signaled then that it might be willing to end a 16-year-old agreement between the United States and some Mexican growers that has kept the price of Mexican tomatoes relatively low for American consumers. American tomato growers say the price has been so low that they can barely compete.
Within hours of the American action, Mexico threatened to retaliate, claiming that the Obama administration was trying to placate farmers in an important swing state.