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Shrimp industry requests extra tariffs on Chinese farmed seafood imports

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2018-05-15  Views: 34
Core Tip: The Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA) has requested that the United States Government impose additional tariffs on aquaculture seafood products from China.
     The Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA) has requested that the United States Government impose additional tariffs on aquaculture seafood products from China.
    The request was made through a letter to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in which the alliance also expresses its support to the call from a Louisiana senator for shrimp and crawfish to be included in a list of imports from China to be subject to an additional 25 per cent tax.
    The organisation recalls that before the request, the USTR had determined that China's Government actions related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable or discriminatory that burden or restrict US commerce. For this reason, it proposed an additional 25 per cent tariff on certain Chinese imports. But no seafood products were included in this initially proposed list.
    However, the USTR has invited comments from the public as to what products should be ultimately subject to any Trade Law Section 301 action taken.
    In its letter to the USTR, the SSA noted that the US Department of Commerce has already made formal final affirmative determinations that Chinese shrimp producers and exporters received countervailable subsidies, including support through the government of China's industrial policies.
    Further, the SSA observed that the widespread adoption of aquaculture throughout the world means that there are many other sources for seafood outside of China such that any tariffs placed on Chinese seafood would have a limited adverse impact on American consumers.
    More importantly, the SSA argued that including goods made through Chinese aquaculture in any Section 301 remedy would benefit American consumers by limiting the consumption of contaminated products.
    In this regard, the organisation highlights that recently published academic studies confirm that antibiotic use in Chinese aquaculture remains rampant and unregulated. In fact, China has the worst record of any country regarding the detection of veterinary drug residues in its seafood shipments to the United States.
    The SSA highlights that according to entry line refusal data from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows that over the sixteen-year time period spanning from 2002 through 2017, China accounted for over 42 per cent of all seafood entry line refusals for reasons related to veterinary drug residues.
    China's share of such refusals has increased dramatically recently. In 2017, Chinese seafood accounted for 57 per cent of the total seafood entry lines refused by the FDA for reasons related to antibiotics. And through the first four months of this year, China has accounted for over 91 per cent of such refusals.
    Due to the above, the alliance stated that including goods produced from Chinese aquaculture in any Section 301 remedy will therefore simultaneously both assist the USTR's efforts to address China's actions by countering that government's support for an export industry and benefit US consumers by reducing consumption of contaminated products in the US market.
    Last year, the United States imported over USD 2.6 billion in seafood from China, of which nearly USD 1 billion were of seafood products produced through Chinese aquaculture.
keywords: Shrimp
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