Lawson visits South, Central America to examine agricultural capacity, impacts of U.S. trade policy

Special to the Outlook

WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S Rep. Al Lawson joined a bipartisan delegation of members of Congress last week as part of a trip to review the agricultural trading relationships between the United States and South and Central America, as well as what downstream effects of changes in U.S. trade policy is having on competing producers in South America.

 The delegation also met with President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, as well as U.S. armed forces personnel stationed at Joint Task Force Bravo and Soto Cano Air Force Base in Honduras.

“We had the opportunity to see how well-equipped these regions are as it pertains to agriculture,” Lawson said. “They have a revamped infrastructure, efficient methods of transportation and several factors that are making them competitive on a global stage. 

“Therefore, when we think of promoting agriculture across the state of Florida, we have to make sure that we focus on making infrastructure a top priority – from production to market. That includes new opportunities for technological innovation so our farmers and ranchers can produce more with less, and more efficient travel so they can transport more products in less time.”

While in Brazil, Lawson toured corn, cotton, and soybean producing regions, and reviewed the infrastructure capacity of industry to meet export demand. During meetings with President Bolsonaro, the delegation learned that the country is looking to attract billions in private investment to improve the country’s infrastructure, and in particular the capacity of its agricultural supply chain. 

In Argentina, the delegation spoke with President Macri, as well as members of the biodiesel processing and soybean industries, on the landscape facing Argentinian agriculture.

Lawson serves on the House Agriculture Committee, Nutrition Subcommittee, and has been a strong advocate for the nation’s farming industry.