Sep 13, 2021
White House knocked by Rubio for ignoring harm to fruit, vegetable growers

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., released a statement Sept. 10 after White House Director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, touted artificially low fruit and vegetable prices that harm American growers:

“In an effort to defend the White House from criticism over the impacts of historic and worsening inflation, President Biden’s top economic advisor shockingly welcomed artificially low prices of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are the result of unfair trade practices, government subsidies, and labor wage disparities in countries like Mexico,” Rubio said in the statement. “Director Deese’s statement is inconsistent with previous claims by the White House that the Biden Administration plans to address threats to American food security.”

“I urge the Biden Administration to unequivocally support American fruit and vegetable growers and work with me and my bipartisan colleagues in Congress to develop an action plan to halt the ongoing unfair trade practices by countries, like Mexico, that threaten American food security, national security, and the livelihoods of fruit and vegetable growers in Florida and other states,” Rubio said.

On Aug. 30, 2021, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released a report detailing a 580% increase in the volume of specialty crop imports from Mexico between 2000 and 2020 due to unfair trade practices such as dumping, labor wage disparities, and un-competitive pricing.

“Mexico’s seizure of American market share through these malicious practices has consequently resulted in Florida’s growers losing their market shares for products such as: bell pepper (74.75% market share loss), strawberries (30.3% market share loss), blueberries (57.86% market share loss), and others. These impacts have caused billions of dollars in economic harm and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in Florida.

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