Shrimp Tariffs

The charge still stands. India and Thailand must pay for shrimp exports into the United States. Shrimpers in our area are breathing a sigh of relief.

The U.S. International Trade Commission has voted to keep penalty tariffs against shrimp imports from India and Thailand.

Back in January, the tariff was imposed on six countries when the commission confirmed that the shrimp industry has been injured by harmful pricing practices, costing billions.

"It's hard to compete with $10-a-day labor in the first place like they have in China. When they take the product and dump it at prices below what the cost is to produce it, we can't stand up."

India and Thailand say the penalties should be lifted to help producers hurt by the tsunami in 2004.

Liz Compton of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says, "While we feel sympathy for the victims of the tsunami, Commissioner Bronson is pleased that these tariffs have been kept in place. The fact is Florida shrimpers have also suffered greatly due to the impacts of hurricanes and high fuel prices. To allow cheap foreign countries to dump shrimp on the industry could be devastating."

The Associated Press reports that India is threatening to take the United States to the World Trade Organization over the tariff dispute.

To help Florida shrimpers, Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Bronson urges consumers to ask for Florida seafood.