With billions of dollars at stake, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas commends Senators Sinema (D-AZ) and Moran (R-KS) and Representatives Schweikert (R-AZ) and Cuellar (D-TX) for leading a bipartisan, bicameral letter raising significant concerns with the Trump Administration’s Section 201 investigation on imported blueberries and Section 332 investigations of imported strawberries, bell peppers, squash and cucumbers.
“The support of this Congressional letter is hugely important for American companies involved in trade, especially with the knowledge that the trade investigations being launched undermine the new USMCA,” said FPAA President Lance Jungmeyer. Jungmeyer notes the trade agreement was signed last year without a so-called seasonality clause because that was the will of the agriculture community at large. Indeed, the Congressional letter follows an industry letter signed by nearly three dozen food and agriculture organizations challenging USTR’s actions.
“This letter from Congress is so important,” Jungmeyer added. “In 2021, if we create trade friction with Mexico, our neighbor and largest trading partner, it will devastate the many businesses that rely on the robust two-way agriculture trade with Mexico.”
FPAA is proud to acknowledge this bipartisan group of policy makers who support cross-border trade with our top trading partners and the desire to avoid restrictions and tariffs that U.S. consumers end up paying on the products which they demand year-round. This is especially important now that ITC is broadening its investigations into bell peppers, cucumbers and squash--items which have significant economic importance to Arizona distributors.
In the blueberry case, the FPAA is part of the Blueberry Coalition for Progress & Health, which is a broad cross-section of the U.S. blueberry industry that includes domestic growers and shippers as well as importers and retailers. It was formed to oppose limitations on blueberry imports, including the recently initiated Section 201 investigation on blueberries. To learn more about the Blueberry Coalition for Progress & Health, visit us here.