Letter to Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative - Steube Leads Letter to U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer Urging an End to Unfair Mexican Trade Practices
We are writing today regarding the commitment made in your January 9, 2020 letter to Florida
congressional offices regarding unfair Mexican trade practices harming seasonal and perishable
produce growers in Florida and the Southeast. You pledged to issue a plan to redress these practices
shortly after USMCA's entry-into-force. We consider that commitment to be an important element
of USMCA implementation. We therefore appreciated your statements during the recent trade
hearings before the House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees that you remain
committed to holding hearings at the right time and to issuing a trade-action plan within 60 days
of USMCA's implementation to effectively resolve this serious trade problem.
The Florida industry's level of concern and frustration over Mexico's unfair fruit and vegetable
practices is at an all-time high. From January through April of this year, even when so many of
our Florida growers were forced to plow their crops under, the Mexican produce industry
continued to increase its US market share by 17% versus the same period of 2019, often at record
low prices. With Mexico's non-market practices in this industry only growing worse, our Florida
growers are counting on your plan to give them relief and hope for the future.
We therefore ask for your assurance that you will coordinate closely with our offices and the
Florida industry to launch an effective, timely trade action in 2020. A timely trade remedy is
needed to help save our produce sectors in Florida and the larger Southeast, and to ensure a US-grown supply of fruits and vegetables to feed our nation during the fall-spring months of the year.