Congressman Austin Scott

Representing the 8th District of Georgia

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Scott, Collins Urge Trump Administration to Protect American Farmers from Mexico’s Unfair Trade Practices

July 15, 2020
Press Release

TIFTON, GA – Representatives Austin Scott (GA-08) and Doug Collins (GA-09) sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging the Administration to protect American farmers from Mexico’s unfair trade practices as it works to implement the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“As you may know, Mexico’s increased market share of produce and perishable goods at record-low prices in the United States negatively impacts Georgia’s seasonal and perishable produce farmers, as well as those throughout the Southeast,” they wrote. “Over the past several months, we have witnessed the damaging economic and production consequences the coronavirus pandemic has had on crops across the nation. In Georgia, blueberry and vegetable producers are facing not only a decreased market for their goods, but in recent years a market saturated with Mexican products as a result of that country’s unfair trade practices.”

As they point out, the Administration has committed to addressing concerns regarding Mexico’s practices within 60 days from the agreement’s implementation on July 1, 2020.

“As the Administration works to implement the USMCA, we stand ready to partner with you to ensure trade officials, farmers, and producers find a solution that works for the Southeast’s agriculture industry,” they continued.

The full letter can be found here or below.

July 14, 2020

The Honorable Robert Lighthizer

U.S. Trade Representative

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

600 17th Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20508

 

Ambassador Lighthizer,

First and foremost, we want to express our appreciation to President Donald J. Trump, you and your office, and many others in the Administration for your hard work on behalf of our nation’s farmers in implementing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). This historic trade deal will increase our global competitiveness, strengthen our economy, and most importantly, support our farmers.

While we are encouraged by the progress that has been made through the USMCA, we are writing today to urge the Administration to address the lack of protections for American farmers against Mexico’s unfair trade practices. As you may know, Mexico’s increased market share of produce and perishable goods at record-low prices in the United States negatively impacts Georgia’s seasonal and perishable produce farmers, as well as those throughout the Southeast. Over the past several months, we have witnessed the damaging economic and production consequences the coronavirus pandemic has had on crops across the nation. In Georgia, blueberry and vegetable producers are facing not only a decreased market for their goods, but in recent years a market saturated with Mexican products as a result of that country’s unfair trade practices.

We understand the Administration is committed to implementing a timely remedy to address this serious trade issue within 60 days from the agreement’s implementation on July 1, 2020, and we look forward to the Administration’s hearings in Georgia to hear testimony from growers and farmers in our districts. As the Administration works to implement the USMCA, we stand ready to partner with you to ensure trade officials, farmers, and producers find a solution that works for the Southeast’s agriculture industry.

Again, thank you for your work in creating and implementing an America-focused trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. We are hopeful that your office will work with us to ensure Mexico’s unfair trade practices do not go unaddressed. Please reach out to our offices if we can help facilitate future meetings or hearings with farmers in Georgia.

Sincerely,

Doug Collins

Member of Congress

 

Austin Scott

Member of Congress 

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