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Lawmakers ask Trump administration for more seafood import monitoring

Shrimp on the Barbecue Grill/

U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker have implored for the Trump administration to jump-start a program to track the illegal import of shrimp into the United States. 

Prior to the U.S. Senators request, Mississippi Senators signed a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asking if the administration would lift the stay imposed by President Obama. It excluded shrimp from being in the Seafood Import Monitoring Program.

The program was initially created to track unlawful activities related to shrimp and seafood imports.

The letter implies that the program is needed to counter “the scale and scope of fraud and other activities in the shrimp import supply chain.”

“We believe the Seafood Import Monitoring Program, now in its early stages of implementation by your department, promises to become an important U.S. trade enforcement tool to combat these practices that harm our U.S. seafood industry,” the letter to Ross said.

Earlier in May the U.S. International Trade Commission voted to extend anti-dumping orders in China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam for an additional five years. The duties have been in place since 2005.

In Mississippi commercial shrimp harvesting and processing production totaled more than 40 million pounds in 2015 and is valued at $111.5 million. It had an estimated $122.5 million direct and indirect economic impact on the state in 2015.

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