On Monday, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) released its latest report on the impacts of Mexican imports on Florida’s seasonal producers. The report “demonstrates that Florida producers continue to suffer a disproportionate economic injury.”
The FDACS report noted that there was 10-20 percent in annual lost sales of Florida seasonal producers because of expanded Mexican imports, resulting in an overall economic impact of $1.99 to $3.99 billion. This equates to between 17,870 to 35,741 Florida jobs lost.
“With agriculture as Florida’s second largest industry, these unfair foreign trade practices and their devastating economic impact should be of grave concern to every single Floridian. In fact, this report found an economic impact of nearly $4 billion to our state overall due to increased Mexican imports, causing tens of thousands of Florida jobs to be lost,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “We know the best produce is ‘Fresh from Florida,’ thanks to the best farmers, with agriculture an $137 billion industry in our state. Our Florida farmers are used to weathering challenges – from hurricanes to invasive species – and they are used to competition. But they need timely and effective relief from the federal government to level the playing field, because right now, we know Mexico and others are not fighting fair.”
The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association issued the following statement on the report:
“Today’s economic impact report from FDACS on unfair trade helps illustrate what Florida’s specialty crop growers have been experiencing for decades at an alarming rate. Soaring volumes of unfairly priced produce imported from foreign countries continues to devastate our growers, and others across the country. Immediate, effective and enforceable solutions are needed now to restore market fairness for U.S. producers of fresh fruits and vegetables.”