The Packer’s Tom Karst visited Sept. 11 with Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.
Jungmeyer talked about developments related to Trump administration’s action setting out possible trade protection measures for domestic producers of seasonal produce commodities.
“We feel the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative decision was politically motivated,” he said. “The actions that are being contemplated by USTR and have been announced are, in my mind, contrary to the spirit of USMCA, and I’ve had many members call us at the association and say they feel that the evidence that was considered doesn’t really match up with the decision they’ve made,” he said.
Jungmeyer talked about the relative level of Mexican farm subsidies compared with the U.S. Since 1995, Mexico has averaged just 2% of permitted agricultural subsidies by the World Trade Organization, compared with 41% for the U.S., he said.
“That amount is nowhere near an infraction and, in fact, it just shows that there was a lot of political pressure that came to bear even to get us to this point because, there was no evidence to get us to a point to take action against Mexican produce.”
Jungmeyer also talked with Karst about wage differences between the U.S. and Mexico and ongoing improvements in the border infrastructure in Nogales, Ariz.