FSGA Applauds USTR Plan for ‘Seasonal and Perishable’ Farmers

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UF photo shows Brilliance variety of strawberries.

Dover, Fla.- The Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA) is grateful to USTR Ambassador (Robert) Lighthizer, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, and Secretary Wilbur Ross at the Commerce Department for keeping their word to find a way to bring meaningful trade relief to Florida strawberry growers who have suffered legitimate injury from subsidized imports from Mexico.

“This administration has embraced an issue that has historically been ignored. It is abundantly clear that this administration has a desire to find solutions to help level the playing field for the Florida strawberry industry and other seasonal fruits and vegetables,” said FSGA Executive Director, Kenneth Parker.

FSGA will continue to work with the administration to ensure that timely, effective and durable solutions are in place that will keep Florida strawberry growers viable and competitive. The significant actions outlined in the USTR plan specifically for strawberries include:

•USTR will pursue senior-level government-to-government discussions with Mexico over the next 90 days to address U.S. industry concerns regarding U.S. imports of Mexican strawberries, bell peppers, and other seasonal and perishable products.

•USTR will work with domestic producers to commence an investigation by the International Trade Commission to monitor and investigate imports of strawberries and bell peppers, which could enable an expedited Section 201 global safeguard investigation later this year.

•USDA and the Commerce Department have committed substantial support as well. FSGA appreciates the grower members and the entire Florida congressional delegation for standing shoulder to shoulder in defense of Florida’s agricultural families, and recognizing the importance of the economic impact our growers have on Florida’s economy.