Federal agencies receive public input for seafood task force

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Multiple federal agencies will be reviewing public input for the planned Seafood Trade Task Force. The input was submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through Aug. 1.

The Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) office will both be co-chairing the Seafood Trade Task Force, which would develop a “comprehensive interagency seafood trade strategy,” according to a Federal Register notice published on July 10.

NOAA specifically sought public input to guide the task force’s objectives. Those objectives seek to improve access to foreign markets for U.S. seafood exports and resolve technical barriers, among other goals.

The call for public input and creation of the Seafood Trade Task Force were both the result of a May 7 Executive Order signed by Pres. Donald J. Trump. The Executive Order aimed to promote “American seafood competitiveness and economic growth,” according to the Federal Register notice.

“The Executive Order calls for the expansion of sustainable U.S. seafood production through: More efficient and predictable aquaculture permitting; cutting-edge research and development; regulatory reform to maximize commercial fishing; and enforcement of common-sense restrictions on seafood imports that do not meet American standards,” the July 10 Federal Register notice stated.

Policy recommendations would be made by the task force and submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative office.

Several agencies would be involved with the task force, in addition to the Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative, which serve as co-chairs. Those agencies are: State Department; Interior Department; Agriculture Department; Homeland Security; Director of the Office of Management and Budget; Assistant to the President for Economic Policy; Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; Council of Economic Advisers; NOAA; and, others.

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