In October 2018, Florida Republican Congressman Vern Buchanan joined a bipartisan effort of sunshine state lawmakers that included Republicans Mario Diaz-Balart, then-Congressman Carlos Curbelo and Democrat Al Lawson to introduce the “Agricultural Trade Improvement Act.” The bill adjusted the Tariff Act of 1930 and would “allow American specialty crop growers to request the imposition of antidumping or countervailing duties.”
This January, the trio of Lawson, Buchanan and Rubio introduced the “Defending Domestic Produce Production Act,” which was a similar proposal that would allow farmers in Florida to petition the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission to launch an investigation into illegal subsidies and dumping of fruits and vegetables from Mexico in the United States’ market.
This week, Buchanan held an event at the Florida Farm Bureau to slam Mexico’s policies, saying that the event “showed that Florida growers continue to be harmed by Mexico’s unfair trade practices.” The Florida Congressman also vowed to continue defending Florida farmers from “unfair subsidies and illegal seasonal dumping” along with “unfair trade practices.”
— Florida Farm Bureau (@FlaFarmBureau) March 19, 2019
Buchanan’s office provided further information on the matter, explaining that “over the past five to 10 years, the Mexican government has gifted their agriculture sector with illegal subsidies to grow produce destined for U.S. consumers.” In addition, “Mexico growers have dumped less-than-fair-value products into our markets.” In turn, Buchanan’s office described that “Florida has lost between $1 billion to $3 billion annually.”
Speaking on his support for the “Defending Domestic Produce Production Act,” Buchanan asserted that he will continue pushing the bill in office, detailing that it would “provide Florida farmers with the necessary tools to make the case that Mexico is selling produce at unfairly low prices.” Buchanan noted that he will continue to call on the Trump administration and Congress to protect sunshine state farmers in any negotiations that should take place in the future.
100,000 of Florida’s residents work in the agriculture market, and they contribute to adding over $12 billion to the sunshine state’s economy each year.