Sep 26 2018
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today introduced legislation to help Florida fruit and vegetable growers combat unfair trade practices by Mexico. Specifically, the legislation would allow Florida farmers to bring trade cases to the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission against Mexican growers if they can prove acts of dumping occurs seasonally, rather than the current requirement of year-round.
“We must do all we can to ensure a level playing field for Florida’s fruit and vegetable growers,” Rubio said. “Absent a memorandum of understanding or suspension agreements with the Mexican government covering seasonal and perishable produce imports, I’m proud to support this bill, with Senator Nelson, to increase opportunities for Florida growers to successfully seek relief from the illegal dumping of Mexican winter produce into our domestic markets.”
“Enough is enough. Too many growers in Florida have been crippled by Mexican trade abuses,” Nelson said. “If the administration won’t fix this, Congress will.”
A copy of the bill is available here.
- Last August, ahead of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations in Mexico City, Rubio and Nelson urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to propose measures that would protect Florida agriculture from unfair trade practices.
- Last September, Rubio also laid out Florida’s priorities for NAFTA renegotiations and urged Ambassador Lighthizer to work to construct a new trade deal with our North American partners that modernizes and builds on the successes of the previous agreement while also securing critical changes for Florida.
- In April, as NAFTA renegotiations continued, Rubio and Nelson urged the Senate Finance Committee to support Florida farmers.
- In August, as the U.S. worked to finalize a NAFTA deal with Mexico, the senators renewed their calls with Ambassador Lighthizer, to protect Florida growers in a final agreement.