Jan 7, 2019
Bill would protect Florida fruit growers

As the 116th Congress begins, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) re-introduced legislation with U.S. Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) and Al Lawson (D-Fla) to help Florida fruit and vegetable growers combat unfair trade practices by Mexico.

Specifically, the Defending Domestic Produce Production Act 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. Senator Rubio originally introduced this bill in September of 2018 with Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida whose term expired Jan. 3.

“We must do all we can to ensure a level playing field for Florida’s fruit and vegetable growers,” Rubio said in September. “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 in September. “If the administration won’t fix this, Congress will.”

A copy of the bill is available here.

Top photo: Rubio, left, and Nelson

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