"Seafood is not only a delicacy Louisiana is known for, but also a significant economic driver for the state and a way of life for thousands of Louisianans that must be protected."
Louisiana is rich in history and tradition, and made up of working class people that truly embody that heritage and culture. Nowhere is this more prominent than in Louisiana’s seafood industry. When people think of Louisiana, they think of great music, great people, and great seafood.
That is why we must ensure this critical industry is positioned to endure and thrive. Market sensitivity and environmental and trade policies greatly affect seafood jobs. Although the free market allows for foreign competition, seafood jobs in Louisiana are jeopardized by foreign competitors that play by different rules.
Illegal seafood dumping is a serious issue in every Gulf Coast state. Seafood is one of the most sensitive food imports to trade and safety violations. Illegally subsidized imports can displace our domestic catch and hurt Louisiana fishermen with low prices. Fishermen deserve a fair playing field and ensuring that imports comply with the same safety standards as our domestic industry must be a priority.
Further, it is imperative that we make sure our producers and processors have access to a ready and willing workforce. That is why I am supportive of improving the H-2B Temporary Seasonal Worker Program. This program is vital to the success of Louisiana’s seafood industry, and in its current form is failing to provide the necessary workers needed for our industry to grow.
Finally, we must also ensure that any environmental policy issued by the federal government does not overly and unnecessarily harm our economy. All too often Washington bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgate ideologically-based regulations that are inconsiderate of real-world ramifications on important industries like seafood producers and processors.
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