• Improve the U.S. trade balance and reduce the trade deficit with the NAFTA countries.
• Seek a separate domestic industry provision for perishable and seasonal products in antidumping/countervailing duty proceedings.
• Preserve the ability of the U.S. to vigorously enforce its trade laws, including the antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguard laws.
• Require NAFTA countries to have laws governing acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.
• Include general exceptions that allow for the protection of legitimate U.S. domestic objectives, including the protection of health or safety and essential security, among others.
• Through an appropriate mechanism, ensure NAFTA countries avoid manipulating exchange rates in order to prevent effective balance of payments, adjustments, or to gain an unfair competitive advantage.
Recognizing the Problem
On another encouraging note, during a July House Ways and Means Committee meeting, U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer acknowledged the “acute problem.” He was responding to testimony from U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan and Carlos Curbelo of Florida. The two both raised significant concerns about the loss of profits for Florida fruit and vegetable producers during the past two decades under NAFTA.
“I assure you it’s something that we are going to focus on in this negotiation, and hopefully we’re going to get an outcome that’s going to satisfy the producers in your district and any and all of Florida,” Lighthizer told Curbelo. “I’m not obviously as familiar with it as you are, but I’ve talked to the governor [Scott] about it, who has raised this issue a lot,” he said, adding that it was “something I want to engage on.”
Emerging Leaders Broaden Horizons on California Trip
The California production tour opened a window to new crops and production practices for Class 6 of FFVA’s Emerging Leader Development Program. Company presidents and farm managers opened their operations to the group as it traveled across the Salinas Valley in late June. The class saw some crops for the first time, including apples, mushrooms, artichokes, and wine grapes. But they also learned that many of the same issues pose challenges in California just as they do in Florida. The No. 1 issue raised repeatedly was a serious shortage of labor. A close second was over-regulation by the state. And though the California drought may be over, growers also cited water quality and quantity concerns.
Reposted from http://www.growingproduce.com/vegetables/specialty-crop-concern-feeds-need-to-negotiate-nafta-now/