Marco Rubio: NAFTA reboot puts Florida farmers ‘out of business’
Marco Rubio getting heat for backing a questionable South Florida congressional candidate.

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President Donald Trump met with leaders of Mexico and Canada Friday to promote the USCMA trade pact, a reboot of the much-maligned North American Free Trade Agreement.

What’s clear: Trump won’t be able to count on universal Republican support, if Sen. Marco Rubio‘s tweet is any indication.

“As currently drafted this deal will put Florida seasonal vegetable growers out of business. It allows Mexico to dump government subsidized produce on the U.S. market. Going forward America will depend on Mexico for our winter vegetables. Unacceptable,” Rubio thundered.

Rubio’s soon-to-be Senate colleague, Gov. Rick Scott, has yet to comment on how the USCMA will affect agriculture.

Neither has Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis. Or Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, or the woman who will succeed him, Democrat Nikki Fried.

The new accord, which is subject to congressional approval, is apparently a far cry from what the second-term Republican Senator said he wanted in 2017.

Last year, Rubio deemed it “vital that a renegotiated NAFTA advances the interests of those, like Florida’s dedicated farmers and hardworking small business owners, who found themselves left behind by the Agreement’s previous deficiencies.”

This new accord clearly doesn’t accomplish that goal.

Earlier in 2018, Rubio and Democratic colleague Bill Nelson wrote U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging for protections for Florida farmers.

“Mexican growers have used every trick in the book to get around U.S. trade rules, much at the expense of Florida growers, who are uniquely impacted by such behavior. As we have previously written, Florida is one of the few places in the U.S. that can produce warm-weather fruits and vegetables in the winter, forcing our growers to bear the brunt of Mexican trade abuses. Without just relief, Mexican producers will continue to drive our growers out of business and eventually take full control of the U.S. market during the winter.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski



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