Congressional support of Georgia’s vegetable and specialty crop sector has helped lead to potential investigative action regarding imports of cucumbers and squash.
Letters from both Georgia U.S. Senators; David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler; as well from four Georgia Congressmen; Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02), Austin Scott (R-GA-08), Buddy Carter (R-GA-01) and Rick Allen (R-GA-12), were sent to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, asking that the current Section 332 investigation for strawberries and bell peppers be expanded to include cucumbers and squash.
The USTR requested on Friday investigations from the US International Trade Commission (ITC) into the imports of both commodities and the effect on domestic seasonal markets.
It is much needed action for Georgia’s vegetable growers, says Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.
“We prepared a ‘white paper’ based on what was happening this fall. This fall, we saw squash prices and particularly some cucumber prices just drop out the bottom. Mexico products hit and the market and prices went to almost nothing. We prepared a ‘white paper’ for the Congressmen and asked for any help they could provide. Both the House Congressional staff and the Senate staff, they both submitted the letter to Lighthizer asking for support,” Hall said.
“It’s very good from that standpoint that we’ve been able to get them to step in behind that. Those six offices have always been very supportive of our issues and concerned about USMCA as it was coming up for a vote.”