Cochran offers testimony on 'unfair' shrimp imports to USITC

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Aug. 13, 2013 - Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, submitted testimony today to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) for an investigative hearing on the economic threat to the U.S. shrimp industry by subsidized businesses from several countries.

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Cochran said China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam subsidize their shrimp industries, putting the U.S. shrimp sector at a competitive disadvantage.

“The Gulf shrimp industry is important to Mississippi's economy, contributing to thousands of jobs and over a hundred million in annual economic output,” Cochran said in his testimony. “Unfortunately the recent surge in imports due to foreign subsidy programs has been a detriment to these jobs and the industry as a whole. While I support maintaining strong international trade relations, it is important that our trading partners play by the rules.”

USITC held the hearing today on an international trade case that the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries (COGSI) brought against “hundreds of millions of pounds of unfairly subsidized shrimp imports” from seven nations.

Several senators, representatives, and governors submitted letters and testimony to the commission.

The USITC hearing precedes a final determination by the Commerce Department on whether to impose countervailing duties against subsidized shrimp imports. The Commerce Department could make a final determination this month.

The USITC is expected to vote Sept. 19 on whether the U.S. industry is being injured by subsidized imports.

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