WASHINGTON – During a Senate Finance Hearing on “The President’s 2022 Trade Policy Agenda,” U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) questioned Katherine C. Tai, the U.S. Trade Representative, on the Biden administration’s progress in preventing the “dumping” of shrimp and rice from India. Because the Indian shrimp and rice industries are highly subsidized, Indian producers are able to 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: …We’ve also spoken before regarding India’s dumping of shrimp into the United States. And I’m told that they are pushing back hard on this. Can you give any update on that?
Tai: So, this is something that I have spoken to you multiple times about. I know how important this is to you and your constituents. Secretary Raimondo and her team are in good conversation with mine around the dumping issue. And yes, I have raised this directly with my Indian counterpart in Delhi last November when I visited him. I did get very forceful pushback. But Senator Cassidy, I am committed to working with you on this issue and that means in our own system, but that also means engaging the Indian government and I look forward to exploring ways to do that.
Cassidy: I’m told they complain that we somehow put barriers on cold shrimp importation, but they don’t have cold shrimp. And so, if you don’t have something, big deal you know. But it’s their warm water shrimp that are heavily subsidized and perhaps don’t meet phytosanitary standards. Similarly, they apparently heavily subsidize their rice from even before the seed is planted and our folks are competing against something which is being sold below cost because of heavy subsidies. Is there any progress on addressing that?
Tai: We are looking at this issue carefully with our partners in the U.S. government. In terms of progress let me get back to you since the last time I asked and make sure you have the very latest.
Click here to watch the full exchange. Cassidy’s questions on shrimp and rice dumping begin at 2:31.