Mexican cucumber, squash imports are needed: FPAA

FPAA: ITC reports confirm Mexican cucumber, squash imports needed to meet rising demand

FPAA: ITC reports confirm Mexican cucumber, squash imports needed to meet rising demand

The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas has said that the recently issued reports by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) shown that Mexican cucumber and squash imports are needed to meet rising U.S. consumer demand.

The reports summarized the ITC's findings from its investigations on the U.S. cucumber and squash industries and the effect that imports had on seasonal growers. 

The FPPA's comments come in contrast to the reaction of groups and politicians from the Southeast, including the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, which said that the reports' findings show that duties are needed on the imports to protect domestic growers.

The ITC reports do not support the U.S. Southeast growers’ "simplistic reaction to reflexively blame Mexican imports for all of their problems", said Lance Jungmeyer, President of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA).

In fact, he says the report notes the difficulties faced by domestic Southeast growers are largely out of anyone’s control – the difficulty in finding labor and the fact that climate/weather in the Southeast does not favor advanced growing methods such as greenhouses.

“The ITC conducted a thorough investigation that provides a fair and balanced overview of the many factors affecting the U.S. cucumber and squash market, especially given the fact that Mexican imports are highly differentiated from the competition in terms of varietal selection and packing standards,” Jungmeyer said.

“Consumer demand for Super Select cucumbers, fancy cucumbers and unblemished squashes are the factors driving the marketplace.”

In reviewing the ITC reports, FPAA said it found that: Imports are needed to meet increasing U.S. consumer demand for a broader range of cucumbers and squash; there is no evidence of Mexican imports underselling U.S. cucumbers or squash; and U.S. growers face challenges unrelated to imports.

In addition to holding a public hearing with numerous industry witnesses presenting testimony, the ITC conducted its own independent research and interviewed many industry witnesses. 

The FPPA says the ITC’s findings reflect a "solid understanding of the complexities of the many different factors that affect the ever-changing supply and demand conditions of the cucumber and squash markets".

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