Cammack and Colleagues Request Update on U.S. Produce Trade

Cammack and Colleagues Request Update on U.S. Produce Trade

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
|
August 11, 2023

Representative Kat Cammack (R-FL) has joined Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) in writing the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai regarding the “unfair trade practices by Mexico,” specifically concerning American fruit and vegetable producers.

In October of 2022, Ambassador Tai committed to establishing the private sector industry advisory panel specifically for Southeastern fruit and vegetable producers.

Because of this, the legislators are requesting an update with the growing season on the horizon.

The advisory panel will serve as a crucial forum for Southeastern growers to contribute their unique perspectives towards the development of a comprehensive set of policy recommendations,” wrote the lawmakers.

They would go on to mention, “Establishing the panel, and implementing its recommendations, will be critical to providing economic relief to fruit and vegetable growers and rural economies throughout the Southeastern United States. With the 2023-2024 growing season fast approaching, the panel must be convened as soon as possible.”

They ended the letter by stating that American production of produce affects our “food security and competitiveness.”

“We look forward to collaborating with you in developing effective and lasting solutions to ensure our growers can continue supplying the American people with some of the best fresh produce in the world, bolstering our nation’s food security and competitiveness. We respectfully request a timely response to this inquiry,” concluded Rep. Cammack and her colleagues.

Recently, Rep. Cammack introduced her newest bipartisan legislation, the Supporting Equity for Aquaculture and Seafood (SEAS) Act.

This bill looks to reform current federal agricultural policy to ensure that the aquaculture and seafood industries receive fair treatment within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Rep. Cammack’s legislation would require the USDA Secretary to “give the same consideration to aquaculture producers as animal agriculture producers” as well as provide “adequate and fair” funding levels across both industries through grants under the USDA.

Aquaculture is a growing industry that includes the cultivation of fish and shellfish in controlled environments. Despite the industry’s growth and USDA’s recommendation to eat at least eight ounces of seafood per week, aquaculture is not receiving equal funding compared to its land-based counterparts.

According to Rep. Cammack’s press release, the United States imports over 70% of its seafood, and more than half of that figure comes from foreign aquaculture.

Funding American aquaculture is a national security concern, says Cammack.

"When it comes to food security, we know our national security depends on our ability to produce our own food supply. The Sunshine State is a leader in aquaculture production and it's imperative that we continue this momentum to ensure Americans have safe, sustainable, and affordable seafood across the state and nation. I'm pleased to join Rep. Pallone in ensuring critical congressional support for USDA's aquaculture programs," said Cammack.

Rep. Cammack serves as the Co-Chair of the Aquaculture Caucus.

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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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