UPDATED 2/11/22 - America Competes Act Will Not Kill Reef Aquatics Trade

UPDATED 2/11/22 - America Competes Act Will Not Kill Reef Aquatics Trade

UPDATE: Since this article was posted, I've corresponded with a someone who has spoken directly with Rep Crawford's office. They have confirmed that Rep Crawford's changes did not make it onto the bill. The Lacey Amendment language does still exist in its current form.

I have another call into my local rep's office to confirm.

In the meantime, more information can be found at the PIJAC website and USARK. 

A topic brought to our attention by one of our vendors has been fairly concerning. Apparently, H.R. 4521 - The America COMPETES Act also includes some amendments to previous legislation that would make it much more difficult to aquire coral and fish in the reef hobby, possibly even prohibiting transport over state lines - killing the domestic aquaculture industry too.

You can find the details and reasons for concern here.

However, I think there may be some confusion with this legislation. 

The version that every article the I have found points back to the original version of the bill here. Even congressmen and women who voted for it are linking back to it. 

But it's dated January 25, 2022. The original version.

Taking a look at the House Rules Committee website here, we find the list of amendments to the America COMPETES Act. In particular, look to amendments 252 and 599.

252 Version 1

Quigley (IL)

Democrat Withdrawn Amends the Lacey Act to prohibit the possession of any specified wildlife species including lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, cougars, or any hybrid of these species by individuals who are not licensed by the USDA. Withdrawn


599 Version 1 Crawford (AR) Republican Late Strikes Sec. 71102 - Lacey Act amendments. Submitted


It appears that the entire Lacey Act section has been stricken from the America COMPETES Act.

I could be wrong, I'm not a lawyer. But, I did get confirmation from my local rep's office that the Lacey amendments have been withdrawn.

We'll be interested to see how this plays out over the next few weeks. I can't imagine Washington would want to put an entire industry out of business, especially responsible mariculture and aquaculture.

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