Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

05/17/2021 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SJR 16 Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Moved SJR 17 Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Moved SCS HB 22 (RES) Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
           SJR 16-END RUSSIA EMBARGO ON U.S. SEAFOOD                                                                        
3:35:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REVAK   announced  the   consideration  of   SENATE  JOINT                                                               
RESOLUTION NO. 16 Calling on  President Biden to immediately seek                                                               
and secure  an end to  the embargo  imposed by Russia  on seafood                                                               
imports from abroad  so that Alaska seafood  producers' access to                                                               
the Russian domestic seafood market is fully restored.                                                                          
3:35:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS, speaking  as chair  of the  Senate Special                                                               
Committee  on World  Trade  that sponsored  SJR  16, stated  that                                                               
Alaska's fisheries are  a centerpiece of the  state's economy and                                                               
anything that increases the value  of Alaska seafood improves the                                                               
health of the state's economy.  He reminded the committee that in                                                               
August 2014,  Russia banned a  broad range of food  products from                                                               
the European  Union (EU), the  United States,  Canada, Australia,                                                               
and  Norway  in  retaliation  to the  Western  sanctions  to  the                                                               
Ukraine  crisis. The  ban includes  nearly  all seafood  products                                                               
from  Alaska which  makes it  very difficult  for Alaska  seafood                                                               
processors to  stay competitive  in the  world market.  They need                                                               
help from the federal government.                                                                                               
SJR 16  reaches out and  urges the federal government  to restore                                                               
Alaska's seafood industry for fair market access to Russia.                                                                     
3:37:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK announced invited testimony.                                                                                        
3:37:25 PM                                                                                                                    
STEPHANIE   MADSEN,   Executive   Director,   At-Sea   Processors                                                               
Association (APA), Juneau, Alaska, stated  that since most of the                                                               
committee  members attended  the  earlier detailed  informational                                                               
session, she would  save time by speaking to both  SJR 16 and SJR
17.  She  thanked  the  committee for  its  leadership  on  these                                                               
critical  issues.  She  said  seafood  industry  workers  do  not                                                               
typically discuss international  trade rules on the  dock, but it                                                               
is a critically important variable  for these workers and seafood                                                               
She related  that the majority  of seafood produced in  Alaska is                                                               
destined for export  to markets in Japan, China, the  EU, and the                                                               
United Kingdom, and  if the U.S. were to  become uncompetitive in                                                               
these  markets, Alaska  seafood  markets would  lose value.  This                                                               
would translate  to lower  revenue, fewer  jobs, and  lower wages                                                               
and crew  shares. She pointed out  that Alaska often has  been on                                                               
the  losing   end  in  recent   years  due  to   developments  in                                                               
international trade  policy, and  this has  always resulted  in a                                                               
direct loss for Alaska's seafood industry.                                                                                      
MS.  MADSEN  cited  Russia  as an  example.  As  Russian  seafood                                                               
exports  to  the U.S.  have  boomed  since 2014,  this  lucrative                                                               
market has been almost entirely  closed to U.S. seafood exporters                                                               
and  thus  has  imposed  ongoing  costs  on  the  Alaska  seafood                                                               
economy.  She  thanked  the  committee for  focusing  SJR  16  on                                                               
Russia's  outrageous embargo  in American  seafood. Hopefully  it                                                               
will help  to end the embargo  and restore fair access  to Russia                                                               
for Alaska/American products, she said.                                                                                         
MS. MADSEN turned  her attention to SJR 17,  stating that China's                                                               
July 2018 retaliatory tariffs on  U.S. seafood products have made                                                               
it nearly  impossible for Alaska's  seafood industry  to compete.                                                               
She reported  that the  unprecedented growth  wave of  the Alaska                                                               
pollock industry  in China has  been devastated under  the weight                                                               
of the  tariffs. The value of  these exports to China  has fallen                                                               
55  percent since  2017.  Despite the  Phase  I Trade  Agreement,                                                               
there does not  seem to be an  end in sight. She  noted the trade                                                               
press  today  confirmed  that  China  has  not  met  its  seafood                                                               
purchase commitments.                                                                                                           
MS.  MADSEN  said SJR  17  requests  a  level playing  field,  so                                                               
consumers  globally  have  the option  to  buy  Alaska's  premium                                                               
seafood  products.  If the  terms  are  fair, the  industry  will                                                               
thrive. She  relayed the At-Sea Processors  Association's fervent                                                               
hope that SJR  16 and SJR 17 will catalyze  a renewed fairness in                                                               
seafood trade.  If this  is successful,  she said  Alaska seafood                                                               
workers and the broader Alaska economy will benefit.                                                                            
SENATOR STEVENS  emphasized that the  industry is not  asking for                                                               
an  unfair advantage;  it is  simply asking  for a  level playing                                                               
3:42:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI  asked if the  U.S. trade  representative and/or                                                               
the  [Biden   administration]  were   working  on   these  issues                                                               
3:42:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MATT TINNING, Director of Sustainability  and Public Affairs, At-                                                               
Sea Processors  Association (APA), Washington, D.C.,  answered it                                                               
is early  days in  the Biden  administration's trade  agenda, but                                                               
APA has  been encouraged that  the new U.S.  trade representative                                                               
(USTR), Katherine Tai,  is committed to enforce the  Phase I deal                                                               
and   review  trade   relations  with   China.  He   offered  his                                                               
perspective that  SJR 16  and SJR  17 were  coming at  a critical                                                               
time  to  encourage  the  administration to  move  in  the  right                                                               
direction to help Alaska's seafood industry.                                                                                    
3:43:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK opened public testimony on SJR 16.                                                                                  
3:44:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS BARROWS, President,  Pacific Seafood Processors Association                                                               
(PSPA), Seattle,  Washington, stated  support of  SJR 16  and SJR
17, calling  attention to  the unfair  trade practices  in Russia                                                               
and China that  prevent Alaska seafood from competing  on a level                                                               
playing field.                                                                                                                  
MR.  BARROWS related  that PSPA,  which was  founded in  1914, is                                                               
comprised  of  eight  major  seafood  processing  companies  that                                                               
operate 25  facilities in 15  Alaskan coastal  communities. These                                                               
companies  purchase Alaska  seafood from  harvesters, process  it                                                               
into various products,  and distribute it to markets  in the U.S.                                                               
and worldwide.                                                                                                                  
MR. BARROWS  emphasized the  critical importance  of highlighting                                                               
that seafood is  an important economic engine for  the state. The                                                               
industry  accounts for  half of  Alaskan exports,  but the  long-                                                               
standing and  unfair trade conditions  have made  it increasingly                                                               
difficult  to  maintain  and  expand  value  for  Alaska  seafood                                                               
products.   Federal   trade   policies  and   negotiations   have                                                               
consistently  failed  to  safeguard seafood  producer  interests,                                                               
while seafood imports overwhelmingly enter the U.S. duty free.                                                                  
He  said   the  biological  success  and   importance  of  Alaska                                                               
fisheries  has  been a  U.S.  and  Alaskan  priority, but  it  is                                                               
equally   important  for   the  fisheries   to  be   economically                                                               
successful. A robust U.S. seafood  export economy directly shapes                                                               
the  long-term  health  of Alaska's  seafood  processing  sector,                                                               
including   the   ability   to   maintain   and   replace   aging                                                               
infrastructure   and  obtain   ongoing  capital   investment.  It                                                               
supports  Alaska  fishermen,  fishing  communities,  and  related                                                               
economies that support seafood production.                                                                                      
MR. BARROWS thanked  the committee for its support of  SJR 16 and                                                               
SJR  17   to  correct  the  long-standing   injustices  currently                                                               
embedded in the U.S. trade frameworks.                                                                                          
3:44:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR VON IMHOF joined the committee meeting.                                                                                 
3:46:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REVAK  discerned there  was  no  one  else who  wished  to                                                               
testify  and  closed  public  testimony on  SJR  16.  Finding  no                                                               
committee comments or questions, he solicited a motion.                                                                         
3:47:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE moved to report  SJR 16, work order 32-LS0912\A,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).                                                                                                                 
3:47:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK announced  that without objection, SJR  16 moved from                                                               
the Senate Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 22 CS SRES Work Draft v. I-5.16.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
HB 22
HB 22 CS SRES Explanation of Changes version I dated 5.16.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
HB 22
HB 22 Explanation of Changes Version A to Version A.A 5.7.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
HB 22
HB 22 Research - Relevant Alaska Administrative Codes 2.22.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
HB 22
HB 22 Research - Sample Herd Share Contract 3.7.19.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
HB 22
HB 22 Explanation of Changes Version A to Version A.A 5.7.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
HB 22
SJR 16 Back-up 5.14.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJR 16
SJR 16 Sponsor Statement 5.14.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJR 16
SJR 17 Back-up 5.14.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJR 17
SJR 17 Sponsor Statement 5.14.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJR 17
HB 22 Sponsor Statement 1.28.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
HB 22
HB 22 Sectional Analysis 1.20.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
HB 22
SJR 16 Fiscal note 5.17.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJR 16
SJR 17 Fiscal note 5.17.21.pdf SRES 5/17/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJR 17