Louisiana crawfish farmers hurt by China's 'dumping' could receive $10.6 million

William Taylor Potter
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

A bipartisan bill from U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy is aiming to put some money in the pockets of Louisiana's crawfish farmers who were hurt by China's "dumping" of under-priced crawfish.

Cassidy, a Republican, joined Democrat Jon Tester of Montana, and Republicans Chuck Grassley of Iowa and John Thune of South Dakota in authoring the China Trade Cheating Restitution Act, which was filed Thursday. The bill would have U.S. Customs and Border Protection pay $38.5 million from interest on anti-dumping duties to agricultural sectors hurt by China's unlawful trade practice.

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“Louisiana crawfish processors have taken a beating from unfairly traded crawfish from China,” said Adam Johnson of Bayou Land Seafood in Breaux Bridge in a release.

Dumping refers to when a country or company sells a product at a cost below production value, which cannot be matched by other companies. This can force other companies in the industry to shut down.

Of the $38.5 million, around $10.6 million will go to crawfish producers.

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“Crawfish is part of our culture in Louisiana and we will defend it,” Cassidy said in a release. “China is attempting to put our crawfish farmers out of business dumping their product in the U.S. at prices below the cost of production. This is against the law. This legislation gives American farmers the resources they need to stay competitive and thrive.”

Congress passed a law in 2000 that had U.S. Customs and Border Protection pass on the money collected from the duties and the interest onto the American producers that were impacted by dumping, but administrative delays have slowed down the process, the release said.