While President Trump has been suggesting out loud that the United States consider raising tariffs on Chinese produced goods such as aeronautics, high-speed rail, and other high tech items not much has been mentioned about agricultural imports.

Louisiana Senator John Kennedy has broached the subject by suggesting in a letter that Chinese crawfish, shrimp, and other seafood items be included in the President's proposed tariff menu.

Local producers have seen first hand the devastating effects of lower priced and often inferior products showing up store shelves across the state for years. Yet, Washington has done very little to level the playing field so that Louisiana producers can continue to support their families and earn a fair price for their crops.

In his letter to the President Senator Kennedy wrote:

For years, Chinese companies have dumped inferior, sometimes fraudulent, seafood products into the American marketplace, and Louisiana industries have suffered as a result.

Excerpts of Kennedy's letter were reported on NOLA.com.

While Senator Kennedy's remarks make a strong and valid point there is certainly another side of the tariff issue that must be considered. Louisiana and the United States send a lot of other agricultural products to China. If a tariff is raised on crawfish, shrimp, and seafood the Chinese could reciprocate and raise tariffs on rice, sugar, and other Louisiana produced products.

It is indeed a slippery slope that will have to be negotiated cautiously. Let's hope the big money high-tech firms of the industrial northeast don't become more of a priority than the American farmer. Especially the small town family farm and the local seafood producers in our state.

Goodness knows it seems as if Washington has forgotten about the American farmer more than a few times. That's why it was very refreshing to me to see the at least one U.S. Senator is representing the people and industries of his home state instead following a strict party line or simply going quietly into pockets of Bejing.

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