Seafood Of India

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Welcome to India's first Exclusive Seafood Portal

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India’s Shrimp Exports Face Potential Disruption as US Senator Proposes Stiff Tariffs

The Indian seafood industry is facing a potential storm as a US senator has proposed imposing steep tariffs on shrimp imports from India. The proposed India Shrimp Tariff Act, introduced by Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, aims to levy duties of 10%, 20%, and eventually 40% on Indian shrimp imports, effectively blocking access to the country’s largest seafood market.

The Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA), an organization representing shrimp fishermen, processors, and other industry members in eight warm water shrimp-producing states in the US, has strongly backed the proposal. They argue that India’s alleged subsidies and dominance in the US shrimp market have severely impacted the local shrimp industry, reducing its share to less than 10% of the domestic shrimp consumption.

The proposed tariffs have raised concerns among Indian seafood exporters, who fear a significant decline in exports and a detrimental impact on the livelihoods of thousands of shrimp farmers. Ravi Kumar Yellanki, president of the All India Shrimp Hatcheries Association (AISHA), urged the Indian government to take immediate action to counter the proposal.

Jagdish V Fofandi, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India, expressed apprehension about the potential passage of the bill, stating that the Indian government must take proactive measures to protect the industry. He added that the industry is currently adopting a wait-and-watch approach, hoping for a favorable outcome.

Industry representatives also disputed the notion of heavy subsidies in Indian aquaculture, arguing that the subsidies provided are comparable to those in other shrimp-producing countries. They further pointed out that aquaculture farmers, the primary producers, do not receive subsidies on essential inputs like seed and feed.

The proposed India Shrimp Tariff Act also seeks to eliminate the exemption of cooked shrimp from the requirements of the US Department of Agriculture’s country-of-origin labelling (COOL) requirements. This move could potentially hinder the consumption of value-added Indian shrimps in the US market.

Senator Cassidy has also raised concerns about the environmental and social sustainability of Indian shrimp aquaculture, alleging decimated mangrove forests, rampant use of banned antibiotics and fungicides, and child labor practices. He highlighted the lack of scrutiny applied to Indian shrimp imports compared to those from other countries.

The proposal comes at a challenging time for the Indian seafood industry, which has been grappling with poor demand and low prices in major importing markets like the US, China, and Europe. The potential tariffs could further exacerbate the industry’s woes, impacting the livelihoods of thousands of shrimp farmers and processors.

The Indian government must carefully consider the potential implications of the proposed India Shrimp Tariff Act and take appropriate measures to protect the interests of its shrimp farmers and exporters. Engaging in dialogue with US authorities and exploring alternative market opportunities could prove crucial in mitigating the potential impact of the proposed tariffs.

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