Cassidy Introduces Bill to Protect Louisiana Crawfish Industry
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and John Thune (R-SD) today introduced the China Trade Cheating Restitution Act, which would direct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to pay $38.5 million from the interest on anti-dumping duties received from Chinese imports to certain agricultural sectors harmed by Chinas illegal trade practices, including $10.6 million for crawfish producers.
For years, Chinese producers have participated in trade practices known as “dumping”, in which crawfish is exported to the U.S. at a price below the cost of production, driving Louisiana crawfish producers out of business. While federal law instructs CBP to pass on these funds to American agricultural producers, administrative delays have prevented much of it from reaching business affected by China’s unfair actions.
“Crawfish is part of our culture in Louisiana and we will defend it,” said Dr. Cassidy. “China is attempting to put our crawfish industry out of business by dumping their product in the U.S. at prices below the cost of production. This is against the law. This legislation gives American processors the resources they need to stay competitive and thrive.”
“Louisiana crawfish processors have taken a beating from unfairly traded crawfish from China,” said Adam Johnson of Bayou Land Seafood in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana – an industry leader. “We are fortunate to have a Senator, like Bill Cassidy, who is willing to stand up for the industry"
In 2000 Congress passed the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA), which instructed CBP to pay all collected anti-dumping (AD) duties and accrued interest to the U.S. producers that were injured by dumped imports. CDSOA applies to imports that entered the U.S. through September 30, 2007, but due to a range of delays, CBP is still assessing and collecting AD duties and interest on many of these imports.
The bill would:
- Require CBP to distribute under CDSOA an estimated $35.6 million in accrued delinquency interest on the antidumping duties that CBP collected and wrongfully withheld
- Amend the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 to move the date of interest collected by the CBP to be dispersed from October 1, 2014 to October 1, 2000 to account for substantial interest withheld by CBP beginning in 2000
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