Alongside the Simplifying Grants Act, which was announced Thursday, Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott Tandem made another joint announcement, this time petitioning U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to “initiate a Section 301 investigation of fruit and vegetable imports from Mexico, and to secure trade relief for Florida growers.”
The petition is a bipartisan effort, with Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL) joining the movement as well.
The petition was included in a letter written by members of Florida’s Congressional delegation which includes both Senators and Representatives on both sides of the aisle.
Within the letter, the legislators accuse Mexico of “unreasonable trade practices” that includes export targeting.
“The contents of this petition make clear that Mexico’s scheme to displace Florida’s seasonal and perishable agricultural industry from the U.S. market is an unreasonable trade practice that constitutes export targeting, threatens Florida’s seasonal and perishable agricultural industry, endangers the long-term food security of the U.S., and raises the prospect that Mexico will become an unchallenged hegemon in the winter and spring fruit and vegetable supply chain, with the ability to set market prices that harm American consumers.”
The letter goes on to mention:
“The Biden Administration has affirmed its intention to protect and reinvigorate critical supply chains within the U.S., including agricultural supply chains. Mexico’s export targeting scheme, which is affecting U.S.-grown produce during the winter and spring months, is a direct threat to this objective. As this petition discusses, and as various government entities, including the U.S. Trade Representative, have confirmed, seasonal and perishable industries such as Florida’s generally do not enjoy access to trade remedies. The provisions of Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, however, are uniquely suited to investigate Mexico’s trade-distorting practices and policies and provide urgently needed relief to Florida’s growers.”
In the conclusion, the letter calls on Katherine Tai to use the authority given to her by the Trade Act of 1974 which allows her to “investigate and redress unreasonable trade practices that burden and restrict U.S. commerce.”