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Report: Mexican cucumber and squash imports costing US farmers, including Florida

Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried says here in Florida, those imports caused an estimated 2,721 lost jobs between 2015 and 2020.
Credit: AP
Farmers pick squash plants that were damaged by the recent floods, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Homestead, Fla. State officials are asking the federal government to declare a large part of South Florida a disaster area due to flooding that ruined crops. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

FLORIDA, USA — A recent report released by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) revealed the effect imports of seasonal squash and cucumber from Mexico are having on farmers nationwide. The result is $95 million in lost revenue for growers since 2015. 

Here in Florida, Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried says the impact is more devastating. According to Fried, those imports have caused an estimated 2,721 lost jobs and $1.85 billion in negative economic impact for Florida growers. 

The reason, Fried says, is because of unfair trade practices employed by Mexico. The reason the ITC report gives is Mexico's high product quality and low wage rates

"While Florida has been the hardest hit and Mexico has been the worst offender, seasonal producers across the United States are being impacted by similar unfair trade perpetrated by several foreign markets," said Fried.

The federal investigation is now being sent to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to decide whether tariffs on imported cucumbers and squash from Mexico should be imposed.