By Kris Perez - email
BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana shrimpers got the attention of the governor. This morning Governor Bobby Jindal sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission. The letter requests an investigation of possible violations of trade practices by foreign countries adversely affecting Louisiana's shrimping industry. The following is a copy of the letter.
August 19, 2009
RE: Request for Assistance to the Louisiana Shrimp Industry
Dear Secretary Locke and Chair Aranoff,
I am requesting a U.S. Department of Commerce investigation for possible violations of trade practices by foreign countries who may be unfairly manipulating the marketplace, to make certain that they are not harming the Louisiana shrimp industry. It is my sincere hope that the Commerce Department will investigate these allegations and assist in the recovery of one of the state's most important commercial fisheries, and we remain ready to assist and participate in this endeavor.
The Louisiana shrimp fishery is not only important to the social and cultural fabric of our coastal communities, but also provides the state and national economy with an important source of jobs, income, and tax revenues. A 2008 study of the economic benefits of fisheries, wildlife and boating in Louisiana prepared by Southwick Associates indicates that the Louisiana commercial shrimp fishery had a total economic impact of approximately $1.3 billion and supported 14,384 jobs and generated $91.1 million and $83.4 million to state and federal revenues, respectively.
The effects of cheap foreign shrimp imports, together with drastic reductions in dockside shrimp prices, threaten the economic sustainability of the domestic shrimp fishery in Louisiana, as well as in our neighboring states. While continuing to recover from the effects of the devastating 2005 and 2008 hurricane seasons, Louisiana shrimp fishermen have never had greater need for protection from unfair trade practices that threaten their livelihood.
C: Congressional Delegation
Michelle O'Neill, Acting Secretary, USDOC International Trade Administration