Buchanan, Soto, Rubio, Scott Introduce Legislation to Protect Florida’s Seasonal Growers

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WASHINGTON – Unfair trade practices with Mexico continue to be at the forefront of Florida’s specialty crop producers. Legislators are doing what they can to protect seasonal producers.

Trade Legislation
Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.)

Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) and Congressman Darren Soto (D-Fla.) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation earlier this month to help Florida fruit and vegetable growers combat Mexico’s unfair trade practices.

“Illegal seasonal dumping and unfair Mexican trade practices are crippling Florida’s fruit and vegetable growers,”said Buchanan. “It’s time to level the playing field and protect hardworking Florida farmers and our vital produce industry.”

Trade Legislation
Darren Soto (D-Fla.)

Congressman Darren Soto said, “As Florida growers face significant economic losses, it is crucial for us to stand with them and work to find solutions. I’m proud to work with Congressman Buchanan on this legislation to help our farmers get relief.”

Companion legislation has also been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.).

Under current law, only producers who can demonstrate a nationwide, year-round impact of unfair trade practices can seek relief from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission. The Defending Domestic Produce Production Act would provide seasonal fruit and vegetable growers the ability to petition the federal government and get relief from unabated foreign imports.

Trade Legislation
Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

Rubio said, “We must ensure the viability of Florida’s fruit and vegetable growers, who for years have struggled to compete with dumped and unfairly priced Mexican imports. I firmly believe that food security is national security, and that to ensure our nation’s food security we must defend our food producers from malicious trade practices that are intended to undermine our self-reliance.”

This bipartisan, bicameral legislation has been endorsed by the Florida Farm Bureau and the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association.