WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today introduced a bill to support Louisiana communities that have been negatively impacted by unfair trade with countries like China. The Resilient Communities Act directs the hundreds of millions of dollars collected in penalties for trade violations back to the communities hurt the most by our trade imbalances. Over the last three decades, American communities have lost millions of jobs after being exposed to the harms of cheaper, dumped, or illegally subsidized products—including shrimp and seafood—imported into the U.S. from China.
“Louisiana shrimpers have a great story to tell. Their shrimp is fresher, cleaner, and tastes better,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This is an important step towards protecting the families that rely on Louisiana’s seafood industry and ensuring that their communities prosper no matter how much China and India try to dump into U.S. markets.”
“When countries like China cheat the trade system and flood the market with cheap goods, American companies, workers, and communities pay the price,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to lead this bill with my Republican colleague to invest in the places that are experiencing layoffs or closures because Chinese companies aren’t playing by the rules.”
Dumping is a predatory trade practice wherein a manufacturer sells their product in the United States for a price below the producer’s sale price in their country of origin or cost of production in an effort to devalue their competitor’s products. Louisiana’s seafood industry is a frequent target of shrimp and crawfish dumping from China and India. The bill also imposes countervailing duties, or anti-subsidy duties, to offset the lower prices of goods entering a country because of subsidies from foreign governments.
While collections vary annually, antidumping and countervailing duty revenues collected by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have ranged from roughly $100 million to $300 million each year. Antidumping and countervailing duty laws are designed to raise the price of unfairly dumped and subsidized products to their fair market level, but filing a case is a costly and time-consuming process that too often comes too late for communities impacted by devalued goods flooding the market.
Under the Resilient Communities Act, the Secretary of Commerce would award these funds to communities that have been injured by trade, with priority given to communities where a domestic producer would be most likely to increase production and employment with the benefit of a grant. Additional eligible uses are for economic development, including: building public infrastructure, improving workforce development services, and improving access to health and social services.
The Resilient Communities Act is supported by the United Steelworkers and the Alliance for American Manufacturing. Click here to download a one-pager.