WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, is among 32 cosponsors of a bill designed to protect American farmers from illegal trade practices used by foreign countries.
The Defending Domestic Produce Production Act would increase the ability of farmers to petition the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate illegal subsidies and dumping of produce in the United States. The act specifically recognizes American farmers who are hurt by subsidies used by Mexico, Central American and South American counties.
In a release, Huizenga details his concern for how current law leaves Michigan farmers vulnerable, especially asparagus, cherry and blueberry farmers.
“Current federal law fails to provide seasonal, perishable, and specialty crop growers with adequate means to bring forward claims against illegal trade practices being used by other nations,” Huizenga said.
The bill was introduced in the U.S. House on Jan. 3, 2019 by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla, who grew up in Detroit. It was introduced in the U.S. Senate on the same day by Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Of the cosponsors in the U.S. House, 19 are Republicans and 13 are Democrats. Huizenga is the only one of them who is not from Florida or Georgia.