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Trump urged to crack down on Indian shrimp imports

US Trade Representative now likely to raise matter affecting Louisiana shrimpers in talks with Indian government.

US Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is calling on the Trump administration to tackle contaminated Indian shrimp exports diverted to the United States.

Senator Cassidy emphasized the "harm caused by a flood of Indian shrimp imports to Louisiana shrimpers" in his questions to the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer at a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee this week.

The lawmaker said the imposition of strict phytosanitary controls on Indian shrimp imports by the European Union had diverted massive quantities of potentially harmful exports to the US market.

Cassidy asked Ambassador Lighthizer to describe all relevant legal authority the Administration was considering to address Indian shrimp imports.

In response, Ambassador Lighthizer said the domestic industry could seek the imposition of countervailing duty orders to address the government of India’s significant subsidization of its shrimp industry.

“Generally in a situation like this you’re better off bringing litigation,” the Ambassador said.

Cassidy said the problem of Indian shrimp imports goes well beyond the Indian government’s subsidization of its industry and asked the Ambassador to consider organizing a more fulsome, comprehensive response from the administration.

He highlighted weaknesses of the US Food and Drug Administration’s response so far and asked the Ambassador what steps might be taken by the United States Trade Representative through a Section 301 proceeding or through the review of India’s eligibility for benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

Lighthizer plans to raise the matter in discussions with the Indian government on India’s participation in the GSP program.

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