USDA, USTR, to Hold Hearings with Seasonal Growers Next Month

The Trump administration will hold two hearings next month with seasonal produce growers to discuss foreign trade policies that may be harming farmers. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office, along with the Department of Agriculture, recently announced the hearings planned for August 13 and August 20. At the hearings, officials from the federal agencies will hear from farmers on how the Trump administration can support them and remedy any unfair harm. The hearings, which were originally scheduled to occur in Florida and Georgia in April, will take place virtually. This month, Florida lawmakers called on U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to stop “unfair Mexican trade practices harming seasonal and perishable produce growers in Florida and the Southeast.” U.S. Representative Greg Steube, a Florida Republican, says many growers were forced to plow their crops under as a result of decreased demand from the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, “the Mexican produce industry continued to increase its US market share by 17 percent between January and April 2020.”