UA Study: Imported Tomatoes from Mexico Worth $4.8B to US Economy

While the United States is one of the largest tomato producers in the world, imports play an important role in satisfying demand for fresh tomatoes since most U.S. production is destined for the processed market.
Nov. 1, 2018

A new study by University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and the UA's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics says imported fresh tomatoes from Mexico contributed $4.8 billion in sales to the U.S. economy in 2016. The U.S. imported 3.4 billion pounds of fresh tomatoes from Mexico in 2016, valued at $1.9 billion in terms of customs value.

Some highlights show U.S. and Canadian imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico supported:

  • Nearly 33,000 U.S. jobs
  • $2.9 billion in U.S. gross domestic product
  • $1.4 billion in employee compensation and $353 million in business owner income
  • $400 million in federal tax revenue and $350 million in state and local tax revenues

“This study demonstrates that even though grown and harvested elsewhere, imported produce supports economic activity, jobs, and income in the United States through forward and backward-linked agribusiness supply chains. This includes sophisticated logistics clusters in local economies that specialize in handling fresh produce and delivering it to consumers throughout the country,” said Dari Duval, economic impact analyst with UA Cooperative Extension and the UA Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

The study was supported by and in cooperation with the Fresh Produce Association of Arizona. The full study can be found on the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences website at: cals.arizona.edu/arec/publication/contribution-mexican-tomatoes.