The U.S. Commerce Department has announced that it will suspend an agreement with Mexico on importing fresh tomatoes, which has received support from lawmakers in the sunshine state.
As negotiations continue between the U.S. Commerce Department and Mexico, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross maintained that the agreement, which has been in place since 2013, is not beneficial to agriculture in the United States.
In a statement, Ross explained that “the Department of Commerce remains committed to ensuring that American domestic industries are protected from unfair trading practices. We remain optimistic that there will be a negotiated solution.”
In response to the announcement, Senator Marco Rubio (R) released a statement applauding the decision.
Rubio explained that “if there was a lesson in the 2016 elections, it’s that Washington doesn’t understand what middle and working-class Americans want.” Moreover, “for years, Washington has exported jobs and opportunities abroad to facilitate imports of cheaper consumer goods, including Mexican fruits and vegetables.”
He detailed that “today’s tomato suspension agreement termination is just one more example of how this administration is working on behalf of the American people in ways the rest of Washington still doesn’t get.”
“President Trump and Secretary Ross don’t want to stop imports,” explained Rubio. What they’re interested in highlighting is “a healthier balance between American production and consumption, and between U.S. imports and exports.”
The Florida Senator concluded by stating that “in the long run, both U.S. tomato growers and consumers will benefit greatly from this administration’s insistence on free, fair, and reciprocal trade.”
Earlier this year, both Rubio and Rep. Ted Yoho (R), a member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, gained the help of 45 members of Congress to direct a letter to Ross, asking him to end the agreement.
The letter gained strong support from a bipartisan group of sunshine state lawmakers.