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US Lawmakers Call for China to Reverse Japan Seafood Restrictions

The top two lawmakers on the House Select Committee on China criticized Beijing’s decision last month to suspend imports of Japanese seafood, saying the trade restrictions are “unacceptable and must be reversed.” China suspended the imports in response to Japan's release of nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean stemming from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant incident following a tsunami (see 2308220022).

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Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., said Sept. 14 that China’s restrictions are “clearly coercive in nature and have no merit according to” safety reviews conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency and USDA. “This is another example of [the People’s Republic of China’s] malign economic coercion that we have seen across the globe and is designed to damage the Japanese seafood industry.”

The lawmakers said the U.S. should “consider measures to boost U.S. procurement of Japanese seafood” and “strengthen” CBP’s “ability to perform inspections of seafood from” China. They also called on Congress to pass legislation to counter China’s economic coercion, “including the creation of new tools to support countries and companies who are targeted by the PRC and hold accountable the PRC entities that facilitate the [Chinese Communist Party]’s economic coercion. We look forward to working with our colleagues and the administration on these initiatives.”