Dear Senator Nelson:
On behalf of the nearly five thousand US shrimpers that have recently participated in the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers (TAAF) program and the thousands more that hope to participate in the future, please accept our deep appreciation for your extraordinary efforts on their behalf before the Senate Finance Committee last week.
It is clear that reauthorization of the TAA program is and will continue to be a major challenge for this Congress. It is also clear that your continued strong support and leadership will be central to achieving that goal.
We especially appreciated your efforts to educate the Committee on the current plight of US shrimpers, and why the TAAF program is such an appropriate and vital response to their needs. Shrimp imports continue to have a profound adverse impact on thousands of small, mostly family-owned fishing businesses in Florida and throughout the region.
We will never forget that you also went the extra mile specifically on behalf of our shrimpers to secure important clarifications from the Administration on future TAAF program implementation.
The definitive clarification you secured regarding fishing income as part of the program’s limits on adjusted gross income will make a very real, positive difference for future participation of fishermen in the program.
Perhaps most significant was the consensus you secured from the Administration and the Committee on the clear need to ensure that fishermen are treated on a level playing field with farmers under the program in part by improving upon the source and application of price data used to determine a shrimper’s eligibility. Your efforts to really press that point seems certain to lead to a favorable resolution of the issue in future discussions with the Administration. Please let us know if we can provide any assistance to support your further efforts in this regard.
Thank you again for championing the cause of American shrimpers Senator. I would also like to recognize and thank you for the exceptional, professional work of your staff, Ryan McCormick and Sara Gonzalez-Rothi on this and other issues facing the shrimp industry over the years. Finally, I must note that we feel very fortunate to have the benefit of Hun Quach’s and Casey Chumrau’s outstanding work on the Committee staff that will be central to securing TAA reauthorization this year.
John Williams, Executive Director
Read the full letter: Thank You to Sen Nelson TAA markup finnance 7-11-11