$530 MILLION SUPPORT TO US FISHERMEN
$530 million support to US fishermen impacted by Retaliatory Tariffs, announced by USDA’s Seafood Trade Relief Programme. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in Washington DC on 09th September that it will provide approximately $530 million to support the U.S. seafood industry and fishermen those impacted by retaliatory tariffs from foreign governments. The funding will be provided through the Seafood Trade Relief Programme (STRP) and funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).
Seafood Trade Relief Programme (STRP), is part of a relief strategy to support fishermen and other producers while the administration continues to work on free, fair and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets to help American farmers compete globally. The STRP prohibits a person or legal entity from receiving more than $250,000 from the program. In addition, an applicant’s average adjusted gross income (AGI) cannot exceed $900,000 unless at least 75 percent of the AGI of the person or entity comes from farming, ranching, forestry, seafood harvesting, or related activities.
U.S. commercial fishermen who have a valid federal or state license or permit to catch seafood who bring their catch to shore and sell or transfer them to another party is eligible to participate in STRP. Eligible seafood species must have been subject to retaliatory tariffs and suffered more than $5 million in retaliatory trade damages. Eligible species along with compensation offered on dollar per pound basis are Atka mackerel (0.10), Dungeness crab (0.47), King crab (0.47), Snow crab (0.47), Southern Tanner crab (0.47), Flounder (0.15), Geoduck (0.76), Goosefish (0.10), Herring (0.04), Lobster (0.50), Pacific Cod (0.14), Pacific Ocean Perch (0.10), Pollock (0.01), Sablefish (0.10), Salmon (0.16), Sole (0.15), Squid (0.20), Tuna (0.13) and Turbot (0.15).
“Many nations have not played by the rules for a long time, and President Trump is the first President to stand up to them and send a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices,” said Secretary Perdue. “The Seafood Trade Relief Programme ensures fishermen and other U.S. producers will not stand alone in facing unjustified retaliatory tariffs while President Trump continues working to solidify better and stronger trade deals around the globe.”
Fishermen can sign-up for relief through the programme from September 14, 2020 to December 14, 2020. Fishermen should apply through their local USDA Service Centre. Local Service Centre can be found at www.farmers.gov/service-centre-locator & the application can be found here www.farmers.gov/seafood. STRP is not a loan programme and hence there is no cost to make an application.
All USDA Service Centres are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Centre visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Centre agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centres that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our programme delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in the office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Amod Ashok Salgaonkar