With a unanimous vote of 4-0, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that Mexico’s continued tomato imports were being sold in the U.S. under fair market value, undercutting American farmers and threatening their livelihood.
U.S. Lawmakers have been asking the Trump Administration to help curb Mexico’s unfair agricultural trade practice, and the president has responded by rewriting NAFTA with the USMCA, a trade deal that would significantly even the playing field with all imports from Mexico and Canada, including agriculture.
House Democrats have refused to put the USMCA up for a vote, a move that as political in nature because it would be seen as a win for Trump.
But as Democrats stall the USMCA vote, Trump is pushing back hard against Mexico’s trade with all of the tools he has at his disposal.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave President Trump and is administration praise for a “strong suspension agreement to curb” Mexico’s abuses, but warned that the remainder of U.S. seasonal vegetable farmers were “still vulnerable” without “effective trade law reform.”
Earlier this year, Sen. Rubio reintroduced his ‘Defending Domestic Produce Production Act of 2019’’ with Florida Reps. Vern Buchanan (R) and Al Lawson (D).
According to the text of the bill, measures would be put in place to protect Florida’s fruit and vegetable farmers “combat Mexico’s unfair trade practices,” specifically the easing of certain thresholds “to allow Florida farmers to “petition the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate illegal subsidies and dumping of Mexican fruits and vegetables in the U.S. market.”