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U.S. trade representative declines to investigate Mexican produce exports

The U.S. trade representative has declined a request from Florida lawmakers to investigate Mexican produce exports.

In September, most of Florida’s congressional delegation sent a letterto the U.S. trade representative asking for an investigation of what they described as a U.S.-bound “flood” of Mexican produce and a “scheme” by the Mexican government to displace “Florida’s seasonal and perishable agricultural industry.”

On Sunday, they got their answerfrom the USTR: No. Instead, the body will establish what it calls a private sector advisory panel to make recommendations to help southeastern producers be more competitive.

Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Nogales-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, says an investigation could have opened the U.S. up to retaliatory trade measures from Mexico and other countries.

“The writing was on the wall that it was a dangerous thing to be considered,” he said.

The USTR decision was also applaudedby the Mexican government, which said it brings certainty to the fall and winter produce season.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.