A. Scott urges U.S. ITC to probe trade practices that hurt farmers
On April 6, Reps. Austin Scott (R-Georgia) and Darren Soto (D-Florida) co-led a bipartisan letter to the International Trade Commission (ITC) expressing support for a Section 332 investigation for cucumbers and squash as American specialty crop producers struggle with unfair trade practices that negatively impact operations.
A Section 332 investigation is a general fact-finding effort performed by the ITC at the request of certain other government organizations.
“Seasonal cucumber and squash imports from Mexico continue to dramatically impact U.S. markets and threaten the future of domestic farm production of perishable produce,” the members wrote. “This Section 332 investigation by the ITC for cucumbers and squash is needed to make a meaningful determination as to the impact of these seasonal imports on our markets. Market changes occur quickly and can devastate a grower’s season in a matter of days if imports increase and the resulting price decreases coincide with harvest. We appreciate your efforts on behalf of our growers and rural communities.”
Georgia Farm Bureau, Florida Farm Bureau, Michigan Farm Bureau, the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association supported the letter.
“Georgia Farm Bureau agrees with U.S. Representatives Austin Scott and Darren Soto that a Section 332 investigation for cucumbers and squash is necessary to determine the full impact that imported produce is having on domestic growers. In recent years, Georgia farmers—along with farmers in many other U.S. states—have struggled to compete with the growing surge of imported fresh fruits and vegetables, and as noted by the reports highlighted in the letter, the problem will only get worse unless U.S. officials step in. We are grateful for the leadership of Representatives Scott and Soto along with the other Members of Congress who joined this important effort,” said Georgia Farm Bureau President Tom McCall.
"Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association appreciates the continued support and leadership of Congressman Austin Scott on the fight against unfair trade. Georgia fruit and vegetable growers face an uneven playing field due to cheap imports that threaten the future of Georgia produce," said GFVGA Executive Director Charles Hall.
In November, Rep. Scott sent a similar letter to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requesting ITC begin a Section 332 investigation into squash and cucumber imports. Click here to read more.
To read the text of the letter click here.