Background

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said recently that his office will take a number of actions to address lawmakers’ concerns that non-market trade practices have increased the exportation of seasonal and perishable products to the U.S. and caused unfair pricing that is harming U.S. producers.

Lighthizer said that within 60 days after the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement enters into force USTR will release a plan to implement effective and timely remedies necessary to address any trade-distorting policies that may be contributing to this problem. To support the development of that plan USTR will undertake the following actions.

- begin immediately to work with federal and state agencies and the private sector to identify and compile documentation on problematic policies and assess their impact on U.S. producers

- within 90 days of Congress passing the USMCA implementing legislation, hold joint field hearings with the departments of Commerce and Agriculture to hear from producers first-hand on trade-distorting policies and how to redress any resulting harm

- consider requesting that the International Trade Commission monitor imports of seasonal and perishable goods (although “similar monitoring initiatives that were delinked from viable enforcement actions under NAFTA were ineffective in remedying harm”)

In addition, Lighthizer said the DOC will continue working with U.S. producers on potential antidumping and countervailing duty cases and will, in appropriate cases, self-initiate such cases.

For more information, please contact trade attorney Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965.

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