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Florida Strawberry Growers Association statement on USTR’s Section 301 investigation

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October 24, 2022 — 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) BB #:162601 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 windows.