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USTR decides no investigation into Mexican produce imports

USTR didn’t conclude within the 45-day period that a 301 investigation into the alleged unfair Mexican trade practices would be needed and isn’t opening an investigation.

Brad Haire 1

October 31, 2022

2 Min Read
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Brad Haire

In October, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, or USTR, said Mexican fruit and vegetable imports into the United States don’t warrant an investigation at this time.

In September, members of Florida’s congressional delegation field a Section 301 petition, charging the Mexican government with an “export targeting” scheme aimed at Florida’s produce industry. The 301 statute requires USTR to decide to move forward with an investigation within 45 days.

USTR didn’t conclude within the 45-day period that a 301 investigation into the alleged unfair Mexican trade practices would be needed and isn’t opening an investigation, according to an Oct. 23 USTR statement.

However, USTR will create an industry advisory panel “to recommend measures to promote the competitiveness of producers of seasonal and perishable produce in the southeastern United States. USTR and USDA will work with the advisory panel and Members of Congress to develop possible administrative actions and legislation that would provide real benefits to this struggling industry,” according to the USTR statement

Referring to the USTR decision, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association called it “a positive step toward securing trade relief for the Southeast produce industry and will help to ensure American families are not dependent on foreign imports for their produce supplies during the winter and spring months of the year.”

FFVA said the 301 petition drew needed attention to the Mexican government’s decades-long export targeting scheme for seasonal and perishable products and the association hoped to stem the onslaught of unfair seasonal and perishable produce from Mexico.

“Although the administration for now is not formally beginning a Section 301 investigation given the limited 45-day review period, it has made clear it recognizes the urgent need for immediate, effective and enforceable solutions, which we believe includes all trade relief options. We thank the administration for moving forward promptly with certain action steps related to Mexico’s export targeting practices and for engaging in other efforts to deliver effective trade relief,” according to the FFVA statement.

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