Seasonality bill runs counter to spirit of free trade, harms consumers

WASHINGTON (January 11, 2019) The Border Trade Alliance is raising strong concerns over recent legislation introduced by members of the Florida congressional delegation that seeks to curb the importation of Mexican produce in order to create a competitive advantage for Florida farmers.

The bill, called the Defending Domestic Produce Production Act, is designed to make it easier for Florida farmers to bring claims of unfair trade practices against Mexican producers.

“It’s unfortunate that a small group of regional produce interests is attempting to tilt the rules of trade in its favor,” Border Trade Alliance President Ms. Britton Clarke said. “There is already a well-established system for domestic producers to rely on if they believe they’re being unfairly harmed by imports. This bill isn’t necessary.”

The BTA has strongly resisted so-called “seasonality” attempts by Florida tomato growers in previous legislation and opposed it during the negotiations of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“Let’s be clear,” Ms. Clarke said. “This is not about unfair trade practices; it’s about certain interests seeking special treatment. Consumers have spoken, however. They prefer the ability to shop for quality, affordable produce throughout the year. We are confident that consumers’ voices will continue to be heard and that free trade will continue to be a central component of the U.S.-Mexico relationship.”

Since 1986, the BTA has served as a grassroots, non-profit organization that provides a forum for discussion and advocacy on issues pertaining to border development and quality of life and trade in the Americas. A network of public and private sector representatives from the United States, Mexico and Canada, BTA’s core values include a commitment to improving the quality of life of border communities through trade and commerce. The BTA is online at and @borderalliance.

# # #