Buchanan, Soto Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill Combating Mexican Trade Practices

Buchanan, Soto Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill Combating Mexican Trade Practices

The bill looks to protect seasonal growers in Florida.

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
February 2, 2023

Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Darren Soto (D-FL) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation looking to counter Mexico’s one-sided trade practices, especially when it relates to fruit and vegetable growers. Senators Rick Scott (R-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the upper chamber.

“Illegal seasonal dumping and unfair Mexican trade practices are crippling Florida’s fruit and vegetable growers,” said Rep. Buchanan. “It’s time to level the playing field and protect hardworking Florida farmers and our vital produce industry.”

Rep. Buchanan, who was a member (and the top Republican) on the Trade Subcommittee from 2019-2022, now serves on the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, which would have jurisdiction upon the new legislation, should it come to fruition.

According to Buchanan’s press release, current law hinders seasonal growers from claiming relief from the federal government due to their inability to demonstrate a “nationwide, year-round impact of unfair trade practices.”

The Defending Domestic Produce Protection Act looks to fight for seasonal growers.

Rep. Soto stated, “As Florida growers face significant economic losses, it is crucial for us to stand with them and work to find solutions. I’m proud to work with Congressman Buchanan on this legislation to help our farmers get relief.”

This is not the first time that Sen. Rubio has called out the Mexican government for their trade practices, especially in the fruit and vegetable market. In mid-October, he wrote an op-ed detailing this very issue.

Upon the announcement of the new legislation’s introduction, he stated, “We must ensure the viability of Florida’s fruit and vegetable growers, who for years have struggled to compete with dumped and unfairly priced Mexican imports. I firmly believe that food security is national security and that to ensure our nation’s food security we must defend our food producers from malicious trade practices that are intended to undermine our self-reliance.”

The consequences of this bill could save Florida’s growers millions of dollars in the long run.

But this is not the first time American lawmakers have pointed out Mexico's agriculture abuses.

In 2019, Buchanan also teamed up with Senator Rubio in pushing back to protect American farmers by introducing the Defending Domestic Produce Production Act of 2019.

Sen.Rubio gave then-President Donald 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.”

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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