FPAA criticizes Southeast growers following seasonal produce hearing
The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) has criticized Congressmen and produce growers from the U.S. Southeast following a hearing on seasonal produce.
The FPAA said in a release on Thursday that without providing evidence, "Southeast produce growers insisted the US invoke rarely-used Section 301 National Security protections against Mexican imported produce".
Southeast growers how long claimed that they face unfair competition with Mexican produce imports, and have been pushing for the U.S. to implement restrictions on the imports.
The FPAA said the use of protections against imports would increase grocery costs for Americans, and potentially instigate a trade war with Mexico just weeks after the historic USMCA took effect.
"Consumers would pay more for strawberries, blueberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn and watermelon if tariffs or quotas are put on these items through a 301 trade action as requested today by the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association," it said.
"Throughout the Aug. 13 virtual hearing, Southeast Congressmen and growers repeatedly invoked phrases like “unfair subsidies,” “unfair trade-distorting practices,” “national security,” and “unfair labor,” without providing reasonable evidence or context.
"Despite repeating the inflammatory phrases over and over, Florida and Georgia speakers did not present concrete, verifiable examples of their claims. Repeating the claims enough times does not make the claims true."