Cucumber, squash imports harming American growers
The U.S. International Trade Commission has released its findings on imports of cucumbers and squash and their impact on the domestic market.
The commission reports from 2015 to 2020, cucumber production declined some while domestic market share dropped by about half. American growers could have increased production by nearly 40 percent and gained more than $31 million in revenue over that period from November to May along with more than $35 million in increases to revenue from June to October when removing above-average increases in imports.
While the U.S. has a geographical advantage for the summer squash industry, the commission says relatively high costs of domestic production limit it compared to Mexico which is a highly competitive supplier.
American consumption increased by nearly 25 percent from 2015 to 2020. The findings suggest American growers of summer squash could have seen revenue increases by about $16 million during that period.
The commission says the competitiveness of U.S. cucumbers is limited by high costs of production, weather-related volatility, and pest pressures.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio is calling for the Biden administration to take action as he says high-volume fruit and vegetable imports from Mexico are severely harming American growers and jeopardizing food security. Florida’s commissioner of agriculture is echoing his concerns.
Michigan is the nation’s largest cucumber producer and fifth-largest squash producer.