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Arizona lawmakers react to feds’ Mexico tomato plan

Two state lawmakers say Arizona stands to lose big if the federal government terminates its fresh tomato importation trade agreement with Mexico.Two state lawmakers say 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 say 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 say the livelihoods of many Arizona businesses and workers depend on two-way trade with Mexico in fresh fruits and vegetables and other products.

They say the economic impact of trade between Arizona and Mexico is almost $12 billion annually.

Lopez and Lewis also say 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.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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