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Rubio, Nelson Fight for Florida Agriculture Ahead of NAFTA Renegotiations

Aug 31, 2017 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the next round of NAFTA negotiations, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to propose measures that would protect Florida agriculture from unfair trade practices.
 
“As you prepare for the next round of NAFTA negotiations in Mexico City at the end of the week, we urge you to formally propose a NAFTA fix that would allow regional growers to use seasonal data for antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) cases,” states the senators’ letter. “It is critically important that NAFTA provide a fair and equitable market for U.S. fruit and vegetable growers. To this end, we are hopeful the Administration will use all means available to prevent Mexico from targeting regional growers in an effort to monopolize the U.S. market during certain seasons.”
 
The full text of the senators’ letter is below:
 
Dear Ambassador Lighthizer,
 
As you prepare for the next round of NAFTA negotiations in Mexico City at the end of the week, we urge you to formally propose a NAFTA fix that would allow regional growers to use seasonal data for antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) cases. It is critically important that NAFTA provide a fair and equitable market for U.S. fruit and vegetable growers. To this end, we are hopeful the Administration will use all means available to prevent Mexico from targeting regional growers in an effort to monopolize the U.S. market during certain seasons.
 
Further, any trade agreement expecting fast track authority in Congress needs to meet the negotiating objectives set out in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-26), including “eliminating practices that adversely affect trade in perishable or cyclical products, while improving import relief mechanisms to recognize the unique characteristics of perishable and cyclical agriculture.” Failure to meet these objectives would clearly not meet the standards Congress has set for trade agreements and would threaten the viability of a renegotiated NAFTA.
 
A modernized NAFTA that helps level the playing field for American farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers will go a long way toward restoring faith in our trade agreements. Therefore, we ask that you give this request careful consideration and take meaningful steps throughout the remainder of these NAFTA negotiations to support American fruit and vegetable growers.
 
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
 
Sincerely,