On Thursday, the Court of International Trade issued an opinion and order remanding the Final Results of the tenth administrative review of certain frozen warmwater shrimp from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam back to the U.S. Department of Commerce for further consideration. The remand is the result of an appeal filed by Vietnamese shrimp exporters challenging Commerce’s determination to apply a 4.78 percent antidumping duty rate to imports of Vietnamese shrimp entered into the United States between February 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015.
The Court ordered Commerce to, first, re-consider the agency’s decision to use import data from Bangladesh as a surrogate market value for the cost of frozen shrimp purchases for Vietnamese shrimp exporters and, second, re-visit its denial of an offset to packing costs for any revenue gained from the sale of packaging scrap. On the first issue, the Court asked Commerce to provide an explanation for why it is reasonable to rely upon Bangladeshi frozen warmwater shrimp import values when Bangladesh imports shrimp from coldwater regions. The Vietnamese shrimp exporters have asserted that Commerce should have relied on import data from India as the surrogate market value. On the second issue, the Court asked Commerce to provide an explanation for the agency’s policy of excluding packaging as a byproduct.
Although it reversed Commerce’s action on these two grounds, the Court rejected the vast majority of the Vietnamese shrimp exporters’ complaints. The Court again upheld Commerce’s methodology for calculating dumping margins in the face of the exporters’ broad attack. The Court also rejected demands from the Vietnamese exporters that documents related to the U.S. government’s settlement of the Vietnamese government’s dispute settlement proceedings at the World Trade Organization be placed on a public record. The Court further affirmed Commerce’s methodology for assigning antidumping duty margin rates to companies that were not individually reviewed and rejected the exporters’ arguments challenging Commerce’s selection of surrogate values for head and shell byproducts and ice.
The Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee participated in the appeal as a defendant-intervenor in support of Commerce’s Final Results and will continue to represent the domestic shrimp industry’s interests in the remand proceedings to take place before the agency.
Read U.S. Court of International Trade’s Opinion and Order in Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company v. United States here: https://www.cit.uscourts.gov/SlipOpinions/Slip_op18/18-75.pdf