Those companies in the United States whose products compete with goods imported from other countries may be interested in the recent passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. This agreement replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and its goal is to improve the balance of labor and trade among these North American countries. Ultimately, however, the intent of USMCA is to protect U.S. businesses from any harm imported goods may cause them in the marketplace. Recently, those in Florida’s fruit industry have asked for an investigation into whether Mexico’s imports are violating international law.
Growers of strawberries, blueberries and bell peppers are concerned that Mexico is increasing its imports of these products to America. U.S. growers claim the increase is having a detrimental effect on their own businesses, which violates USMCA. Even though seasonal crops are not included in the new USMCA, growers have made their concerns known to the U.S. Trade Representative, who agrees that the growers have legitimate concerns. He has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to monitor the situation.
The next step
The ITC recently reported that its investigation into the increase of blueberry imports from Mexico is too complicated to make a hasty decision before Feb. 2021. If the ITC determines the imports are negatively affecting U.S. growers, it can recommend increasing the duty Mexico pays for imports, setting a limit on imports or compensating U.S. workers through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.
Importing and exporting seasonal crops is a complex venture. Those whose livelihoods depend on this trade may have particular concerns about the interpretation of international law. Florida businesses and those around the world who worry that their rights are in jeopardy may benefit from seeking information and advice from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.