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Rep. Weber Joins Bipartisan Legislation to Save Our Shrimpers

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14) co-sponsored the Save Our Shrimpers Act of 2024, led by U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls (TX-22). Our nation’s domestic shrimpers are struggling to stay in business primarily because of foreign shrimp being dumped into U.S. markets, making it extremely difficult for shrimpers to continue operating. Sadly, it has been uncovered that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to finance foreign shrimp farm operations through International Financial Institutions (IFIs), such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is contributing to the demise of our nation’s shrimping industry.

Federal law USC 262(h) stipulates that the U.S. Department of the Treasury shall instruct United States Executive Directors at International Monetary Institutions to vote against any assistance by such institutions that facilitates an export commodity surplus that causes injury or harm to United States producers. Unfortunately, there have been limited circumstances where the Treasury has been in compliance with this law, and it is difficult to trace how U.S. Executive Directors at IFIs have complied or not complied with this no-vote mandate.

The bipartisan Save Our Shrimpers Act of 2024 would prohibit federal funds from being made available to IFIs to finance any activity relating to shrimp farming, shrimp processing, or the export of shrimp in any foreign country to the United States. Additionally, this legislation would trigger an investigation within the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) and require annual reports to Congress to track how U.S. Executive Directors at IFIs are complying with USC 262(h).

"We have watched for years as foreign countries have increasingly tried to run our shrimpers out of business," said Congressman Weber. "Our shrimpers on the Gulf Coast are struggling to sell their catch, which has severely impacted their livelihoods. We must ensure that federal funds do not benefit foreign countries that are destroying our shrimpers in the United States. I will continue to fight with my colleagues to save our local shrimpers."

“Due to the global excess capacity and production of farm-raised shrimp and imports, the U.S. market is being overwhelmed and driving shrimp prices down to levels that many shrimpers cannot cover the cost of a single shrimp fishing trip,” said Congressman Nehls. “Shrimpers in the 22nd Congressional District of Texas, along the Gulf Coast, and Atlantic Coast are faced with similar difficult decisions of whether to catch shrimp, tie up the trawlers for the season, or even be forced to sell their trawlers. In order to save our nation’s shrimping industry, we must exhaust every legislative option on the table. I commend my colleagues for joining me in support of this important effort to save our shrimpers.”

This legislation is supported by the Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA), Texas Shrimp Association, South Carolina Shrimper’s Association (SCSA), GA Commercial Fisherman’s Association (GACFA), North Carolina Fisheries Association, Inc. (NCFA), US Shrimp Coalition (USSC), Louisiana Shrimp Association (LSA), the Alabama Commercial Fishermen’s Association, LLC, and the Port of Palacios, Texas.