April 17, 2021

Volume XI, Number 107

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USDA Provides Seafood Trade Relief

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of direct payments for those hit hardest by ongoing trade disputes, offering financial support to certain sectors of the U.S. seafood industry. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue released approximately $530 million in additional funding for the U.S. seafood industry and commercial fishermen impacted by tariffs imposed by foreign governments. The direct USDA payments, provided through the Seafood Trade Relief Program, will be funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation, and implemented by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

To meet eligibility requirements, seafood species must have been subject to retaliatory tariffs and been affected by more than $5 million in retaliatory trade damages. Qualified seafood types include the following: Atka Mackerel; Crab (Dungeness, King, and Snow); Southern Tanner; Flounder; Geoduck; Goosefish; Herrings; Lobster; Pacific Cod; Pacific Ocean Perch; Pollock; Sablefish; Salmon; Sole; Squid; Tuna; and Turbot.

Payout rates for the commercial seafood industry will be contingent on the severity of the impact of trade disruptions to U.S. seafood caught and sold, and they will be capped at $250,000 per applicant.

Eligible participants in the program include all U.S. commercial fishermen with 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, or any entity that processes or harvests at sea for commercial purposes.

To participate, the applicant’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) cannot exceed $900,000 using the average for the 2016-2018 tax years, however, the AGI threshold does not apply if 75 percent or more is attributable to seafood production, farming, ranching, forestry, or related activities.

Given the wide range of qualified entities, interested parties are advised to work with local USDA Service Centers regarding eligibility for the program and respond quickly in submitting applications to the USDA. Applications will be considered beginning on September 14, 2020, extending through December 14, 2020, and can be found here. Potential applicants can direct any further inquires to their local USDA Service Center, which can be found here. Additionally, answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

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Copyright 2021 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 255
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About this Author

Darrell Conner, KL Gates Law Firm, Public Policy Attorney
Government Affairs Counselor

Mr. Conner is a government affairs counselor in the Public Policy and Law practice group at K&L Gates, one of the largest policy groups in the United States.  He has nearly 25 years of experience working with Congress and the executive branch, experience that he leverages to provide advice to clients on effectively managing their government and regulatory affairs, in particular helping clients by create alignment between their objectives and government policies.

202-661-6220
James Sartucci, KL Gates Law Firm, Public Policy Attorney
Government Affairs Counselor

Mr. Sartucci, a government affairs counselor in K&L Gates’ Washington, DC office, has over 13 years of practical experience on Capitol Hill working inside the legislative process on issues including  maritime, Coast Guard, homeland security, transportation, oceans, fisheries and science programs and policy.

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Sartucci spent nine years working for Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) where he served as Legislative Director.  He has considerable experience in the areas of tax, land and water infrastructure,...

202-778-9374
Brody Garland Public Policy & Law K&L Gates Washington DC
Government Affairs Analyst

Brody Garland is a government affairs specialist in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. His practice focuses on transportation, infrastructure, and maritime policy issues. In his current capacity, he advises over 30 partners, associates, and policy practice professionals on legislative, regulatory, and political proceedings on client matters related to aviation, energy, infrastructure, maritime, telecommunications, trade, and transportation policies. His efforts have helped the K&L Gates policy team secure favorable bill language and millions of dollars in congressional appropriations...

202-778-9189
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