April 18, 2024

Cassidy Advocates for Louisiana Shrimp, Rice Producers at Senate Finance Hearing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) advocated for Louisiana shrimpers and rice producers at a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai. He once again asked about progress being made to prevent the “dumping” of shrimp and rice from India. Because the Indian shrimp and rice industries are highly subsidized, Indian producers can sell their products at a much lower rate than American producers, a trade practice known as “dumping.” This practice hurts American shrimp and rice producers, especially in Louisiana, who are unable to compete. Cassidy also highlighted a recent whistleblower report on the safety of shrimp imported from India. 

“My shrimpers are saying, ‘My gosh, if I have to go to court to make this happen, I’m going to be out of business before there’s actually relief.’ So if you were speaking directly to my shrimpers, who are being put out of business by labor abuses and subsidies, how do you reassure them that this issue is going to be taken care of?” asked Dr. Cassidy. 

Ambassador Tai recognized Cassidy’s continued leadership on this issue.

“This has been literally one of your highest priorities,” responded Ambassador Tai. “You did share with me the report on the abuses in this particular industry in India… We can prioritize the addressing of this particular issue.”

“There’s also a concern from our rice [producers]. They say that if it were not for Indian subsidies of rice, they would have like roughly $850 million more in exports,” added Dr. Cassidy. 

Ambassador Tai agreed to convene a meeting between USTR, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Cassidy to find near-term solutions regarding the dumping of non-phytosanitary shrimp and excessive subsidies of certain industries.

Cassidy closed by highlighting his Foreign Pollution Fee Act with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)—a trade policy to hold polluters accountable. Last year, the Louisiana Senate and House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution urging Congress to pursue a climate and trade policy. 

“We would put a tariff relative to the avoided cost of environmental compliance with international environmental norms, which would principally apply to China but also to other countries,” explained Dr. Cassidy. 


Cassidy has worked to protect the Louisiana shrimp industry from unfair and harmful trade practices. Last year, Cassidy introduced two bills to protect Louisiana shrimp against India’s dumping of cheap shrimp and produce into U.S. markets. The Prioritizing Offensive Agricultural Disputes and Enforcement Act and the India Shrimp Tariff Act will both protect the Louisiana agricultural industry while ensuring that food that appears on U.S. store shelves meets U.S. health standards.

Additionally, Cassidy successfully pushed the International Trade Commission to keep anti-dumping orders for frozen warmwater shrimp from India, China, Thailand, and Vietnam in place last year. 

In January, Cassidy worked to secure $27,152,411.00 for Louisiana fisheries, shrimpers, and fishing communities affected by natural disasters between 2017 and 2022.