ASPA Fights Back Against Indian Shrimp Imports Made with Forced Labor

April 16, 2024

Port Arthur, TX (April 16, 2024)

The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) is taking aggressive action to combat imports of shrimp from India that were made with forced labor and tainted by other labor abuses. On March 20, 2024, reports emerged regarding horrific labor conditions in India’s shrimp industry, including forced and bonded labor, child labor, hazardous and sickening working conditions, excessive hours, pay below the minimum wage, withheld pay, forced overtime and unpaid overtime, and harassment and verbal abuse.

On Friday, April 12, 2024, ASPA filed an allegation with the U.S. government arguing that the government of India’s failure to enforce its most basic labor laws provides a subsidy to Indian shrimp producers. ASPA asked the Department of Commerce to include the subsidy in the ongoing countervailing duty investigation that was launched in response to ASPA’s petitions on unfairly traded shrimp imports filed in October of last year. On Monday, April 15, 2024, ASPA also filed a request with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ban imports of shrimp from India made with forced labor, as required under section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

“The brutal working conditions documented in India’s shrimp industry are appalling,” said Trey Pearson, President of ASPA. “These producers exploit the most vulnerable workers imaginable, and then export their artificially low-priced product to the United States, harming our own domestic shrimp harvesters and processors. ASPA will do everything we can to fight back against these abhorrent practices and defend American shrimp producers.”

India accounts for 40 percent of U.S. shrimp imports, and shrimp imports from India reached 650 million pounds valued at $2.3 billion in 2023. Reports of widespread and severe violations of workers’ rights in the Indian shrimp industry were released in March by the Corporate Accountability Lab, the Associated Press, and the Outlaw Ocean Project. Copies of the allegations ASPA filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection seeking action against these imports are available on ASPA’s website.