BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Two Florida Republicans–U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, who sits on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee–are leading the charge on Capitol Hill for the U.S. Commerce Department to end an agreement with Mexican tomato growers.
Rubio and Yoho rounded up more than 45 members of Congress to sign a letter to U.S. Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross to end the agreement, insisting it “has allowed unfair competition to increasingly put U.S. tomato growers out of business” and “terminating the current agreement would restart a U.S. antidumping investigation on fresh tomatoes from Mexico while giving Commerce more leverage to try to secure a new suspension agreement that is both effective and enforceable.”
The Florida delegation offered strong support for Rubio and Yoho with Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Democrat U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Val Demings, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Al Lawson, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Stephanie Murphy, Donna Shalala, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson and Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Ross Spano, Greg Steube, Michael Waltz and Dan Webster signing on.
“Fairly traded imports can and do enrich Americans’ lives, but unfair trade practices can eviscerate the jobs and production that define dignified livelihoods and sustain our communities,” Rubio said on Friday.
“The U.S. tomato industry has been the canary in the coal mine for domestic fruit and vegetable production over the last three decades. Immediately terminating the suspension agreement will reinvigorate the antidumping investigation on fresh tomatoes from Mexico and send the message that the U.S. will ensure vigilant enforcement of our existing trade laws and trade agreements.”
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