From: The Ledger, Lakeland, Fla.
Published November 20, 2004 12:00 AM

Bush Vows to Maintain Tariff Against Brazilian Orange Juice Products

Nov. 20—During his Sept. 29 visit to a Lake Wales grove, President Bush gave Florida citrus officials a stronger pledge to preserve the federal tariff on Brazilian orange juice imports than the officials publicly acknowledged.

According to knowledgeable sources, Bush stated: "I realize how important it (the tariff) is to this industry and how important this industry is to the state." In his public statement after the tour, Bush promised that "Florida farmers are treated fairly on the global market" but never explicitly mentioned the tariff, which growers fear could be eliminated in two ongoing international trade negotiations.

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© 2004, The Ledger, Lakeland, Fla. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

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