Rep. Crawford Meets with Lonoke Fish Farmers about Lacey Act Provisions within China Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Robertson (Sara.Robertson2@mail.house.gov)

Rep. Crawford Meets with Lonoke Fish Farmers about Lacey Act Provisions within China Legislation

4/14/2022

Jonesboro  Today, Representative Rick Crawford (AR-01) visited Lonoke County to meet with local fish farmers to discuss several provisions in the House COMPETES Act, a wide-ranging bill intended to address the challenges China presents to our economic and national security. The bill includes broad reforms to the Lacey Act, which currently empowers the U.S. government to keep wildlife from other countries out of the U.S. and allows states to choose for themselves what can be transported from one state to another. The proposed Lacey Act provisions would gut this federal-state balance, removing authority from states to self-determine what wildlife to prohibit.

“I get asked all the time ‘what keeps you up at night?’ and I always say, I stay awake at night worried I’m going to prison for unknowingly violating the Lacey Act,” said Mr. Freeze, a fish farmer and owner of Keo Fish Farm in Lonoke.

Last week, Rep. Crawford was selected to be on the bipartisan House team that will negotiate with their Senate counterparts to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the COMPETES Act. He met with local farmers to hear their concerns and talk strategy about how best to have the misguided Lacey Act provisions overhauled or stricken from the final version.

“The proposed changes to the Lacey Act would endanger Arkansas’ robust aquaculture industry, and I share the concerns of the state’s fish farmers about these provisions,” said Rep. Crawford. “I intend to bring the farmers’ perspective from our conversations today into the upcoming negotiations over the COMPETES Act.” 

While the new language for the Lacey Act is listed in the House version, it isn’t included in the Senate version of the COMPETES Act, which means that there is an opportunity for the provisions to be removed from the final version of the bill. 

“I remain optimistic that if we continue to draw awareness to some of the issues these changes would cause for businesses, including aquaculture farms, Congress will correct this error in the final conference report for the COMPETES Act,” said Rep. Crawford. 

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