This week, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., introduced a proposal to stop importing citrus from China.
On Thursday, Steube brought out the “U.S. Citrus Protection Act,” which, his office noted, “would prohibit the importation of commercially produced fresh citrus fruit from China.”
Steube said he was championing the proposal to protect citrus growers in Florida and other states while blaming China for the coronavirus pandemic.
“As farmers and ranchers in Florida and across the country are struggling to cope with the decreased demand for their products as a result of the economic shutdowns, more than ever we need to put America first and cannot give foreign entities a competitive advantage,” Steube said. “Communist China is responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent economic damages that have impacted our nation’s farmers, and now they are trying to profit off of our hardship.”
“Florida has over 47,000 commercial farms and ranches and is ranked first in the U.S. in value of production of oranges and grapefruits with oranges’ annual production value over $1.07 billion,” the congressman’s office noted. “Florida’s 17th District produces more citrus than any other congressional district in the United States.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday. So far, there is no companion measure in the U.S. Senate.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.