Representatives David Schweikert and Vicente Gonzalez Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Against Seasonality Provisions

June 24, 2019
Press Release
Contact: Grace White (202) 225-2190

WASHINGTON, DC Congressman David Schweikert and Congressman Vicente Gonzalez lead House colleagues in a bipartisan, bicameral letter to United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Lighthizer in regard to seasonality of produce. This letter urges the Trump Administration to exclude a seasonality provision in the negotiations of the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).

Congressman Schweikert (AZ-06), Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), and Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) President Lance Jungmeyer released the following statements in support of the letter 

“Arizona and its citizens benefit greatly from trade with its neighbors, especially in the months where our temperatures prevent growth for fruits and vegetables.” said Congressman David Schweikert. “My colleagues and I are continuing to fight against harmful seasonality provisions. We are working to make sure that a seasonality provision is not included in the final United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), as this would harm U.S. consumers and run counter to our beliefs in supporting free and fair trade. I look forward to helping implement the USMCA agreement that will bring strength and prosperity to our economy, without a seasonality provision.”

“Those of us from border states live and breathe international trade,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “Our region has reaped the benefits of free and fair trade. But neither our communities nor our country can afford disruptions in the American produce supply chain, closures of Texas businesses or increased prices at the grocery store. That’s why my colleagues and I have teamed up to advise the administration against including a seasonality provision in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.”

“We applaud this bipartisan coalition for recognizing the value that our industry brings to this nation in terms of jobs and economic impact,” said FPAA President Lance Jungmeyer. “Inserting special trade law changes for seasonal produce in the trade agreement would invite our trading partners to revise protections for their industries, and it would result in decreased trade in agriculture across the board.”

Background:

This letter to USTR Ambassador Lighthizer regarding the implementation of a seasonality provision in the USMCA comes as the trade agreement is in final stages of negotiations. Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives urged Ambassador Lighthizer to resist the addition of seasonality provisions due to the lasting effects on the American farming industry and average consumer.

The letter was lead by Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in the Senate, and Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) in the House. Other cosigners include John Cornyn (R-TX), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28), Will Hurd (R-TX-23) Andy Biggs (R-AZ-5), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-8), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-2), Greg Stanton (D-AZ-9), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-7), Randy K. Weber (R-TX-14), Filemon Vela (D-TX-34), TJ Cox (D-CA-21), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-1), Jim Costa (D-CA-16), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30), Devin Nunes (R-CA-22), Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), and Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ-3).

The full letter is attached here

 

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