(Metairie, La.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La) made the following statement regarding compensation for Louisiana crawfish processors. United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be compensating crawfish processors $19 million for illegal “dumping” by Chinese importers.

“Excessive dumping of Chinese crawfish has put Louisiana crawfish producers at an unfair advantage,” Vitter said. “I think I speak for all Louisianians that crawfish from China probably doesn’t taste right anyway. More importantly, until Chinese importers play by the rules, it’s our jobs and our businesses here in Louisiana that are hurting.”

The compensation is part of what is owed to crawfish processors under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (commonly known as the “Byrd Amendment”) in effect from 2000 to 2007.  That law was designed to compensate the industries directly harmed by illegal trade, using some of the collected duties to help domestic industries deal with illegal trade.

China is the top violator of trade laws, and crawfish was one of the most dumped products from China. Duties owed from the time the Byrd Amendment was in effect can still be paid to the crawfish industry, but CBP has been ineffective in collecting the duties. Meanwhile, Chinese importers do everything possible to avoid their trade obligations, delaying payments to the crawfish industry as the duty collection is behind by years, and even more than a decade for many illegal imports.