Farmers Worry Over Peanut, Tomato Dumping During Congressman Lawson's Town Hall

Mar 24, 2018

U.S. Rep Al Lawson meets DeMarcus Williams of the Federation of Southern Cooperative Farmers following the Farmers Roundtable (3/24/18).
Credit Stephanie Lambert / Office of Congressman Al Lawson

Nearly 100 North Florida and South Georgia farmers turned out to give Congressman Al Lawson their thoughts on what should be included in a federal farm bill. At the top of concerns: trade issues between Canada, Mexico and the United States.

While Central and South Florida are major hubs of citrus and sugar production, North Florida and South Georgia produce peanuts and tomatoes. And those two crops, in addition to dairy, are being squeezed by overproduction from Canada and Mexico, say local farmers. For that reason, Congressman Al Lawson says he’s in support of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Absolutely," he said when asked about that support. "Most farmers here, if you talk to the people who are tomato farmers they’ll tell you they have a big problem. So I think something is going to happen in that regard.”

NAFTA has become a target for critics in both political parties who say the agreement has hurt the American labor force, largely in sectors like manufacturing and agriculture. President Donald Trump wants to renegotiate the deal.