(Dec. 4) WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s official: There’s peace between the U.S. and Mexican tomato industries.

Officials from the Department of Commerce and Mexican growers and exporters organizations made it official when they signed a suspension agreement Dec. 4 in Mexico City.

Once the deal is published in The Federal Register, all exporters of Mexican tomatoes will be required to follow the terms of the agreement when selling tomatoes in the U.S.

The agreement officially suspends investigations by the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission to determine if Mexican tomatoes were sold at below-market prices in the U.S. market.

“We appreciate the great efforts put forth by the Mexican growers, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the government of Mexico, particularly the Department of Agriculture (of Mexico), in reaching the new agreement,” Lee Frankel, president of the Nogales, Ariz.-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, said in a news release.

Frankel credited Javier Usabiaga, Mexico’s agriculture secretary, for having heeded “the concerns and suggestions of the Mexican growers and U.S. marketers in Nogales.”

Under the deal, tomatoes from Mexico cannot be sold for less than an established floor price of 17.2 cents per pound in the summer and 21.08 cents per pound in the winter.

Enforcement mechanisms in the agreement range from fines to jail time.

“While we don’t like this abandonment of the free trade ideals of NAFTA, this agreement keeps most of the fresh tomatoes demanded by U.S. consumers coming in from Mexico and guarantees the security of several thousand jobs both in the U.S. and in Mexico,” Frankel said.