American Scallop Association Delivers Letter to Wilbur Ross, Participates in NOAA Fish Fry

June 11, 2018 — WASHINGTON — The following was released by the American Scallop Association:

American Scallop Association (ASA) leadership traveled to Washington last Wednesday to participate in the 43rd Annual NOAA Fish Fry. In Washington, they hand-delivered a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross regarding current issues facing the American scallop industry.

“This is the fourth year that we have participated in the NOAA Fish Fry,” said ASA General Counsel, Attorney John Whiteside. “Attending the NOAA Fish Fry gives us the opportunity to interact with policy-level decision makers on the domestic and global issues that affect us most.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross visits the ASA tent at the NOAA Fish Fry.

In the letter, they outline several issues currently affecting the domestic, U.S. wild-caught, Atlantic sea scallop industry, including a request to restart the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations due to international price undercutting issues.

Specifically, as a result of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Canadian scallop industry now operates at an 8 percent advantage over its American counterpart. The agreement gives Canadian-based companies an unfair advantage in their exports to the European Union, making U.S. prices uncompetitive.

“The ASA had a discussion focused on international trade with US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross about how CETA-rigged prices are causing irreparable harm to US companies trying to export lobster and scallops to the EU,” said Attorney Whiteside. The ASA urged the Secretary to resume the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations as soon as possible and be steadfast in demanding that tariff rates for fishery products like scallops and lobster mirror those set in the CETA treaty.”

ASA General Counsel, John Whiteside, delivers letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

ASA members buy and sell over 75 percent of U.S. Atlantic sea scallops landed annually and are leaders in the domestic and international sea scallop trade. Headquartered along the Eastern Seaboard, members employ over 4,000 people throughout their domestic and international operations.

The NOAA Fish Fry gives industry representatives the opportunity to draw awareness to issues facing fisheries across the cuntry while bringing industry stakeholders and top government officials together under one roof. This year, ASA members were visited by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and President Trump’s nominee to head NOAA, Barry Myers. ASA members are NOAA Fish Fry regulars, and have represented the scallop industry for years at the event. ASA members that attended the event include: John F. Whiteside, Jr., Ross Paasche, Joseph Furtado, Paul Joly, Master Chef George Karousos, Barbara Cournoyer, Brittany Bushee, and Steve Zevitas.

ASA General Counsel, John Whiteside, meets with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Read the letter to Secretary Ross here

About the American Scallop Association

The ASA was founded in 1992 to foster a better public understanding of the importance of the scallop industry and to represent and promote the interests of the domestic, U.S. wild-caught, Atlantic sea scallop industry. Its aim is to support ASA members and all other affiliated interests to ensure a viable and long-term future for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery through effective dialogue, consultation, collaboration and partnerships.