Payments to shrimpers delayed by lawsuit

Published 3:04 pm Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A lawsuit has halted millions of dollars in tariff payments scheduled for distribution to shrimpers, processors and others in the seafood industry.

The Southern Shrimp Alliance, which represents shrimpers and producers in eight states, including Louisiana and Mississippi, sued the U.S. Customs and Border Protection earlier this month to stop the payments.

The group says the federal agency is failing to police what it alleges are “excessive, inaccurate or fraudulent claims.” The Southern Shrimp Alliance led the charge for the tariffs imposed on shrimp from Brazil, China, Ecuador, India, Thailand and Vietnam.

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The U.S. Court of International Trade has granted a temporary restraining order and could order an injunction, which would suspend the payments until the lawsuit can be heard on Dec. 5, according to a shrimp alliance lawyer.