The final re-negotiated NAFTA agreement, now called USMCA (US/Mexico/Canada Agreement), does not include the Perishable and Seasonability Provision that GFVGA has lobbied for over the last 2 years. This provision would have given southeastern growers an avenue to seek remedies should one of the partner counties (Mexico or Canada) engage in unfair trade practices such as dumping product into the US below production costs. GFVGA, along with other trade organizations, are working to seek administrative and legislative remedies to correct this problem.
Before Congress can vote on the new USMCA trade agreement, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) is charged with conducting an investigation (No. TPA-105-003) regarding 'the likely impact of this agreement on the U.S. economy as a whole, on specific industry sectors, and the interests of U.S. consumers.' A hearing will be held next week, November 15-16 at the International Trade Commission Main Hearing Room in Washington, DC. GFVGA has prepared a pre-hearing brief and Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black is scheduled to submit testimony on behalf of Georgia growers at the hearing.
In addition, interested parties are invited to file written submissions in lieu of, or in addition to, participating in the hearing. All written submissions to the investigation (No. TPA-105-003) will be available to the public and must be received by the ITC before December 20, 2018. Please contact the GFVGA office or see the Federal Register notice for complete instructions on how to file a written submission.
Disaster Relief for Growers Affected by Hurricane Michael
As reported by UGA Extension agents and agricultural economists, Hurricane Michael caused more than $2.5 billion in losses to the Georgia's agricultural industry. Our vegetable industry alone suffered over $480 million in direct losses. Since the day after Michael hit Georgia, efforts have been underway by GFVGA and other commodity organizations to seek federal disaster relief for the growers effected.
Much work has gone into developing a package that would provide assistance to our vegetable growers and other specialty crop producers damaged by Hurricane Michael. Once the proposal have been finalized we will be requesting everyone to contact your congressional representative for their vote to support this effort. GFVGA will continue discussions with our congressional delegation when they return to Washington next week to finish up the 2018 session.