Florida congressional leaders say the federal government must protect the state’s seasonal crop exports. US Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott re-introduced the Defending Domestic Produce Production Act. The Republicans’ bill would grant seasonal fruit and vegetable growers the ability to seek relief from unabated foreign imports. US Reps. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, and Darren Soto, a Kissimmee Democrat, introduced companion legislation in the House.
Rubio stated: “We must ensure the viability of Florida’s fruit and vegetable growers, who for years have struggled to compete with dumped and unfairly priced Mexican imports. I firmly believe that food security is national security, and that to ensure our nation’s food security we must defend our food producers from malicious trade practices that are intended to undermine our self-reliance.”
Buchanan for years has discussed the need for protections. He served as House liaison to former President Donald Trump’s administration when terms of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement were negotiated, and while he supported that deal, he said additional action would be required to aid Florida farmers as cheap crops were produced south of the border.