U.S. Cucurbit Growers Getting Squashed

Jan 18, 2022

The American squash and cucumber markets might be in a little bit of a pickle, according to a new U.S. International Trade Commission report.

Report findings show the domestic market share was sliced, after years of above-average imports of the products from Mexico.

While the U.S. market faces high production costs, volatile weather, and pest problems, Mexico has the advantages of low pricing, government funding, and low-wage rates.

In the 182-page squash report and the 222-page cucumbers report, the ITC noted:

  • The U.S. saw above-average squash imports from Mexico for a decade, between 2009 and 2019.
  • Without those imports, American summer squash farmers could have seen their revenue increase by about $16M from 2015 to 2020. (U.S. consumption increased by ~25% during that period).
  • Economic models also estimate U.S. cucumber production would have increased, and American growers could have gained more than $31M in revenue increases in the November-May period of 2015-2020 (and revenue would have jumped more than $35M from June to October).

Soundbite: “High-volume fruit and vegetable imports flooding in from Mexico are severely harming American growers and jeopardizing our food security. The Biden Administration must implement immediate, effective, enforceable, and durable remedies to combat unfair trade practices and defend America’s domestic sources of food in the winter and spring months,” noted U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in a statement on the report’s release.