Updated Oct 5, 2012 - 8:59 am
Arizona lawmakers react to feds' Mexico tomato plan
PHOENIX -- Two state lawmakers said Arizona stands to lose big if the federal government terminates its fresh tomato importation trade agreement with Mexico.
Senators Linda Lopez of Tucson and Jerry Lewis of Mesa said they've urged the U.S. Department of Commerce not make a premature decision because of pressure from Florida tomato growers.
Mexico is Arizona's top trading partner.
The state legislators said the livelihoods of many Arizona businesses and workers depend on two-way trade with Mexico in fresh fruits and vegetables and other products.
They said the economic impact of trade between Arizona and Mexico is almost $12 billion annually.
Lopez and Lewis also said Nogales could lose the $1.3 billion fresh tomato business and risks losing its entire $3 billion produce industry including hundreds, if not thousands of jobs.