Florida votes against NASDA resolution urging USMCA passage
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – In a sign of continuing opposition to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement on trade over the lack of a provision on seasonal surges in produce imports, the state of Florida today voted against a resolution passed by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture urging Congress to approve USMCA this calendar year.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, an elected Democrat, was not present at the NASDA meeting, but her official representative, Erin Moffet, the deputy director for federal affairs in her office, was the only vote against the resolution when the nation’s top state agriculture officials voted on it today.
Moffet said she was not authorized to speak to the press about the issue, but acknowledged that Florida’s opposition is over seasonal produce. The Florida congressional delegation and some Georgia members have written to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, urging him to take some action on the issue. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, a former Georgia governor, has noted the opposition in the Southeast, and has said members should still vote for USMCA because it will help other sectors of agriculture.
Moffet also was the only vote against the resolution in NASDA’s international trade committee.
In July, Fried wrote an op/ed article for The Hill about the issue.