Growers to Offer Trade Input

Ernie NeffTrade

trade

The Trump administration will hold two hearings in August with seasonal produce growers to discuss foreign trade policies that may be harming farmers. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recently announced the hearings planned for 9 a.m. Aug. 13 and Aug. 20.

At the hearings, officials from the federal agencies will hear from farmers how the Trump administration can support them and remedy any unfair harm. The hearings, which were originally scheduled to occur in Florida and Georgia in April, will take place virtually.

The Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association recently urged its members to submit letters to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office regarding unfair Mexican trade practices. Steps to take to submit letters are:

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  • Click here to access the regulations.gov website
  • Type or copy and paste “USTR-2020-0010” into the search box
  • Click the link for “Public Hearings: Trade Distorting Policies that may be Affecting Seasonal and Perishable Products in U.S. Commerce”
  • Click the blue comment box on the left side of the page. 

More information about the virtual hearings and submitting written comments is available here.

This month, Florida lawmakers called on U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to stop unfair Mexican trade practices harming seasonal and perishable produce growers in Florida and the Southeast.

U.S. Representative Greg Steube, a Florida Republican, said many growers were forced to plow their crops under as a result of decreased demand from the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, “the Mexican produce industry continued to increase its U.S. market share by 17 percent between January and April 2020,” Steube said.

Florida Congressman Ted Yoho on April 28 asked President Donald Trump to temporarily halt imports of all Mexican, Central American and South American food products. Learn more here.

Sources: National Association of Farm Broadcasters and Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association

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