Coast seafood supplier weighs in on Chinese seafood tariffs

Seafood vendors react to promised tariffs on Chinese products

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that the United States would raise tariffs on seafood coming in from China from 10% to 25%. Some of the seafood includes tilapia, tuna, crab and shrimp.

The new announcement sounds good to some local seafood dealers like Desporte’s Seafood.

“This might help to be able to sell a lot more local seafood to keep us locals in business and keep it going,” said Sean Desporte, owner of Desporte and Sons Seafood.

In the past, if someone mentioned imported shrimp were better than local shrimp to a local fisherman, they probably would've argued with you.

“All these fishermen and shrimpers have generation, after generation, after generation, so of course they do not like imports coming in because it does take away from it,” Desporte said.

Not only do they see the local shrimp as having a better taste than the foreign ones, they said Mississippi seafood economy also takes a hit.

“If a lot of imports are coming in it will make the shrimp price lower for the shrimpers,” Desporte said.

Everyone likes a bargain, but local seafood dealers said the long-term effects of these tariffs may be good for the local economy.

“What they want to do is keep the imports out so the shrimp prices will actually go up, so the shrimpers will make more money for the local people,” Desporte said.

They see it as more money for the local guys and a superior product for the consumer.

“Of course, our seafood is a lot better here,” Desporte said.

According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States imported more than 6 billion pounds of seafood valued at more than $21.5 billion in 2017.

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