Florida Strawberry Growers Association Statement on USTR’s Intent to Pursue Avenues to Assist the Seasonal Produce Industry

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) sent out a promising press release
yesterday in response to the bipartisan effort led by Sen. Marco Rubio requesting for a formal
Section 301 investigation on September 8, 2022.

Although the Agency declared it “could not conclude in the 45-day statutory period” a formal
Section 301 investigation, the Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA) is grateful for
USTR’s recognition of the challenges faced by Florida’s seasonal producers as well as its
commitment to move forward with enacting a private-sector advisory panel to investigate the
issues raised in the petition.

USTR’s response to coordinate with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to
“work with the advisory panel and Members of Congress to develop possible administrative
actions and legislation that would provide real benefits” is a positive step towards addressing the
immediate action needed by Florida’s farm families who have had to endure the unfair Mexican
trade practices outlined in the Section 301 petition.

FSGA applauds the bipartisan effort led by Sen. Rubio as well as the USTR, and others in the
Administration, to work towards addressing the critical challenges listed in the Section 301
petition moving forward by further examining the issues presented and providing consideration
on further actions which may be appropriate.

We look forward to working with other stakeholders, the USTR, and the USDA to fully examine
the issues raised in the petition and reach common sense solutions to ensure domestic seasonal
fresh produce remains the primary option for consumers around the country during our seasonal