The United States Trade Representative, in conjunction with the Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture, announced new steps to deliver relief for claimed trade injuries suffered by certain regional growers in the southeastern U.S. due to the import of fresh produce from Mexico.
Border Trade Alliance President Ms. Britton Clarke said her organization is concerned the moves by the administration risk undermining the recently implemented United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.
“It is disappointing that U.S. trade policy appears to have fallen under the influence of certain vocal regional special interests without regard to the concerns of the rest of U.S. agriculture, consumers, or the effect these steps could have on the U.S.’ standing as a trusted trade partner,” Ms. Clarke said. “It is even more disappointing that these actions are being adopted mere months after the implementation of USMCA, which is designed to ensure free and fair trade between friends, neighbors, and allies in North America. These moves begin to chip away at USMCA’s successes before they can even be realized.”
The administration announced that it will seek high-level consultations with the Mexican government and that it will open a Sec. 201 investigation on imported blueberries from all origins, which will include Chilean, Peruvian, Canadian, and Argentinian blueberries in addition to those from Mexico.
“We anticipate that Mexico will make clear to the U.S. administration its desire to strengthen the relationship between the two countries and to ensure the long-term integrity of USMCA,” Ms. Clarke said. “Free trade is essential to each country’s economic health and prosperity, and we would urge the governments of both countries to approach any upcoming consultations with a desire to reach outcomes that are consistent with the goals of USMCA.”