The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas sent a message of thanks to Members of Congress for their support of FPAA priorities during the USMCA.
Thanks to You, We Are Prepared for USMCA!
A message from The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
As businesses operating along the Southwest border, the members of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) would like to thank our representatives in Congress who fought for a fair and future-looking trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
Thanks to your efforts, the USMCA is built to provide economic growth and prosperity. From our perspective, here are some key benefits:
Continued Year-round Consumer Access to Healthy Fresh Produce – A group of large growers, headquartered primarily in the Southeast, sought to include a so-called “seasonality” produce provision in USMCA. This would have reduced availability of winter vegetables and fruits while hammering consumers with higher grocery bills. Thanks to Congress, this provision was kept out of USMCA. Unfortunately, the same concept stays alive with the misguided Defending Domestic Production Act, which seeks to change US trade law by adding seasonal tariffs or quotas.
Enhanced Border Security – The US and Mexico are working to implement 100% security scans of commercial cargo, under the Unified Cargo Processing (UCP) program. This will strengthen industry and government efforts to stamp out trafficking of illicit goods at America’s ports of entry.
A Commitment to Workers – Mexico continues instituting labor reforms passed by its Congress. Mexico’s fresh produce sector took a proactive stance on labor reform in 2015, launching the AHIFORES social responsibility program, which today reaches growers of 80% of produce exported to the U.S. Learn more at https://ahifores.com.
Challenges to USMCA
Defending Domestic Production Act – This has been called “outside of the spirit of USMCA.” If Congress passes the act, consumers would have to endure seasonal price spikes and empty produce shelves when hurricanes or freezes impact the Southeast, as they do nearly every year. The Mexican government has indicated it would impose reciprocal measures on US exports of dairy, grains, meats and produce. If passed, this would inevitably lead to prolonged and damaging trade wars with our largest neighbor and customer of US ag exports.
COVID-19 – The disease has disrupted markets, trade flows and regulatory agencies at the border. Prolonged disruptions are possible. Rep. Ted Yoho sent a letter to the White House demanding to ban all produce, dairy and livestock imports from Latin America. Repercussions to US exports would be immediate, while simultaneously driving up the Consumer Price Index.