American Shrimp Processors Association Supports Bundle of International Trade Legislation

BILOXI, Miss., May 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Members of the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA), who account for the majority of domestic, U.S. production of warm-water shrimp from Gulf and South Atlantic waters, support the major pieces of international trade legislation under debate in Congress as a package. Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is among the association's top priorities, as it paves the way for free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and Trade Facilitation and Enforcement (TFE). Both agreements enhance the U.S. system of enforcing and monitoring compliance with U.S. trade remedy laws.

According to ASPA's Executive Director, Dr. David Veal, "Our members are very sensitive to these issues. They have firsthand experience with the negative consequences of unfair trade, competing with both dumped and unfairly subsidized shrimp imports. For them this is a straightforward issue of ensuring a level playing field for American workers." Without adequate protections for domestic industries facing unfair trade, ASPA would not support TPA and the likely free trade agreements with the Pacific Rim and Europe. Dr. Veal concluded, "ASPA supports TPA only if congress simultaneously passes Trade Facilitation and Enforcement legislation protecting domestic industries."

The ongoing debate regarding trade legislation is not limited to Capitol Hill but directly impacts shrimp fishermen, docks and processing plants throughout the Gulf and South Atlantic. Ernie Anderson of Bayou La Batre, Alabama, President of the Organized Seafood Association of Alabama and owner of Graham Shrimp Company, sums up the dockside attitude. "We understand global commerce is a fact of life and want the U.S. to lead the world. But our government must first take care of its own and provide the necessary tools for industry to create market conditions where they otherwise do not exist due to unfair dumping and illegal government subsidies."

TPA primarily involves a delegation of congressional constitutional authority for trade to the executive branch, leading to future trade agreements like TPP. By contrast, the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement legislation has an immediate and direct impact on the lives of working Americans.

Congressman Charles Boustany of Louisiana understands that both TPA and Trade Facilitation and Enforcement are necessary to ensure that trade works for everyone. Andrew Blanchard, ASPA's President and owner of Indian Ridge Shrimp Company in Chauvin, Louisiana, complimented Congressman Boustany's efforts. "He is a true champion for the domestic shrimp industry. He understands that while the U.S. needs to lead on business development, it also needs to provide a strong safety net for industries that compete against unfair trade."

About the American Shrimp Processors Association: The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA), based in Biloxi, Mississippi, was formed in 1964 to represent and promote the interests of the domestic, U.S. wild-caught, warm water shrimp processing industry along the Gulf and South Atlantic with members from Texas to North Carolina. We are the collective voice of the industry, and our focus is to promote the interests of shrimp processors, other segments of the U.S. domestic wild-caught warm water shrimp industry and the general public. More information is available at


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