On August 27, 2018, President Trump announced the United States and Mexico reached agreement on a new trade pact that does not include a specific trade remedy for specialty crop producers in the Southeast. (See statement from GFVGA) Less than two weeks ago, Canada agreed to the trade agreement and an 'official signing' will most likely be held in November. However, none of the provisions will become law until Congress votes to ratify the agreement which will most likely be in early 2019.
Since the August 27th announcement, GFVGA, Georgia Ag Commissioner Gary Black and many other southeastern trade associations have been in discussions with our Congressional delegations to identify solutions to address the lack of a trade remedy for southeastern fruit and vegetable producers. Over the next weeks and months we will use this electronic news alert to keep you informed of activities related to this very serious issue.
The Agriculture Trade Improvement Act has been introduced in both the House and the Senate. If passed the legislation would amend the Tariff Act of 1930 to allow specialty crop growers greater flexibility in requesting federal action against dumping. U.S. Congressman Buddy Carter is a cosponsor of the bill. Other congressional offices are expected to join as cosponsors.
U.S. Senator David Perdue issued a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizeron Thursday, October 4, 2018, relaying the concerns of Georgia fruit and vegetable producers and stressing the importance of finding a solution. Other Congressional offices are in the process of issuing similar letters and these will be provided to you as soon as they are released.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact Charles Hall, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org or call GFVGA at 706-845-8200.