BILOXI, Miss., July 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mary Landrieu held a hearing today at 2:30 pm on trade enforcement and duty collection shortfalls at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Counsel to the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) Edward T. Hayes testified at the hearing.
Overall, America's seafood industry has been hit hard by duty collection shortfalls. Unpaid duties on seafood alone account for about 40 percent, or 689 million dollars, of the more than 1.7 billion dollars in unpaid AD and CVD duties since 2001. Crawfish and shrimp account for most of that. And, duty non-payment on shrimp alone has deprived the U.S. Government of 77 million dollars since 2001.
"We commend Chairman Landrieu for this hearing that highlights trade duty collection difficulties for shrimp and other U.S. industries and shows her keen interest in leveling the playing field for Gulf shrimp processors, shrimpers, and docks," said David Veal, Executive Director of ASPA. "We look forward to working with her and Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran to correct the egregious transshipment and duty evasion practices of our foreign competitors," he continued.
Edward T. Hayes noted in his testimony that, "If the IRS only collected two out of every three tax dollars owed, it would be on the front page of every newspaper, and rightly so. This duty collection problem deserves a similar level of urgent attention."
He also praised Senator Landrieu for her focus on the problem as well as her ideas to improve duty collection, "We thank Chairman Landrieu for securing 3 million dollars for duty collection and appreciate her emphasis on the 1.6 billion dollars in uncollected AD and CVD duties from China," said Hayes.
"We also thank Chairman Landrieu for directing Customs to report on cash deposit requirements for new shipper reviews. Currently, a new exporter or producer enjoys the privilege to post bonds rather than cash deposits pending a new shipper review. This should be abolished," he added.
And in conclusion, Mr. Hayes commented that "the spotlight today on the duty collection/duty evasion issue is welcomed by ASPA."
A link to Mr. Hayes' complete testimony is here: http://www.americanshrimp.com/?p=1823
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 shrimp industry and the general public. The Association website can be found at http://www.americanshrimp.com
Source:American Shrimp Processors Association