Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) will introduce a new bill this week to ban the United States from importing seafood and aquaculture products from China.
The legislation, titled “Ban China’s Forbidden Operations in the Oceanic Domain Act,” would prohibit seafood and aquaculture imports from entering the U.S. market one year after it becomes law.
“Fishing and aquaculture is yet another industry the Chinese Communist Party is weaponizing for their own gain through blatant abuse and slave labor,” Cotton said. “This legislation will stop imports of this illicit seafood by imposing real costs on the Chinese government and the companies that aid them.”
In 2020, federal data revealed about eight percent of $21.4 billion worth of imported seafood arrived from China, and imported shrimp accounts of almost 30 percent of all seafood imports to the U.S.
Specifically, the legislation would ban Chinese seafood and aquaculture imports until the Secretary of State reports that China is not using slave labor in its fishing industry, the Commerce Secretary reports that China is not significantly subsidizing its fishing fleets, and the Defense Secretary reports that China would not use its fishing fleets in an invasion of Taiwan.