Florida lawmakers are targeting China in a new letter directed to Secretary Sonny Perdue, the Secretary of Agriculture.
China has faced heavy scrutiny since the spread of the coronavirus, and lawmakers have not only slammed the threat that China faces on a technological level, but they have also pointed out that the chinese did not accurately report coronavirus cases since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Now, after the spread of the virus has turned into a pandemic that has stricken the world, a bipartisan effort is asking the USDA to reconsider its working relationship with China regarding the importation of fruits and vegetables.
We led bipartisan letter to protect our Fla citrus, fruits and vegetables, and food supply by opposing @USDA‘s new decision to import from China, Mexico, etc. Citrus greening came from China and has devastated Fla’s groves. We stand with Fla’s farmers! @FlaFarmBureau pic.twitter.com/0uJ7HoNU1i
— US Rep. Darren Soto (@RepDarrenSoto) April 26, 2020
Florida Rep. Darren Soto (D) shared the letter on Twitter for his followers to read, adding that the letter is an effort “to protect our Fla citrus, fruits and vegetables, and food supply by opposing USDA’s new decision to import from China, Mexico, etc.”
Furthermore, Soto informed his followers that “Citrus greening came from China and has devastated Fla’s groves,” asserting that Florida lawmakers “stand with Fla’s farmers!”
In the letter, signed by both Rep. Soto and members of the Florida Congressional Delegation, including Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D), the Florida lawmakers detail the threat that China poses on farming, explaining that “over twenty pests and disease of quarantine significance could follow the pathway of this citrus fruit originating in China.”
In addition, “these diseases pose a significant risk to Florida citrus and many other specialty crops.”
The letter comes at a time when countries are signaling that they would like to distance themselves from China and its Chinese Communist Party, and they have also threatened to take financial measures against China.
As the relationship between both countries becomes strained, the sunshine state lawmakers asked Secretary Perdue for his “fair consideration of our request of reconsideration of the recent authorization of importation of the five types of Chinese fruit into the continental United States.”
Here are the other signers of the letter: Reps. Kathy Castor, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Val Demings, Brian Mast, Mario Diaz-Balart, Alcee Hastings,(D) Lois Frankel (D), Al Lawson, Jr. (D), Bill Posey (R), Stephanie Murphy (D), Greg Steube (R), Ted Yoho (R), John Rutherford (R), and Michael Waltz (R).