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Florida growers having difficulty competing with cheaper Mexican produceThe fall/winter growing season was a tough one for Florida’s specialty crop producers, many of whom left crops in the ground because of too much product and prices that fell below the cost of production.
The biggest culprit, growers say, is “dirt cheap” produce — particularly tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries — being dumped into the state by Mexico, where production costs are a fraction of what they are in Florida.
That’s why the grower community is hopeful over President Trump’s announced intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). They see it as an opportunity to right the wrong dealt to the industry when the treaty was negotiated in the early 1990s. The ordeal of Florida farmers since the pact was signed illustrates how poorly-crafted trade agreements can hurt an industry.
Publication date: 3/20/2017
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