Court of International Trade Rejects Foreign Exporter and U.S. Importer Challenges to Duties Assessed on Vietnamese Shrimp in Eighth Administrative Review

On Friday, the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) issued the public version of a 101-page decision rejecting numerous challenges brought by Vietnamese shrimp exporters and U.S. seafood importers against the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) final results of the eighth administrative review of the antidumping duty order on Vietnamese shrimp.

The administrative review covered shrimp import entries made between February 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013. The final results, issued in September 2014, established the highest antidumping duty rates implemented during the life of the antidumping duty order for Vietnamese companies that operate independently from the Vietnamese government – 9.75% for Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company (Stapimex), 4.98% for the Minh Phu Group, and 6.37% for all other Vietnamese companies that qualified for a “separate rate.”

The exporters and importers lodged a broad array of challenges at the CIT, taking issue with (1) how Commerce calculated fair value; (2) the agency’s decision to not individually review another Vietnamese exporter, Quoc Viet; (3) Commerce’s refusal to consider late-submitted evidence; and (4) the methodology used to compare the U.S. prices for Stapimex and the Minh Phu Group to fair value. The CIT rejected each of these arguments in turn and found that Commerce had acted reasonably and consistent with its legal obligations in establishing the antidumping duty rates.

The Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee (AHSTAC) participated in the appeal and represented the domestic shrimp industry at oral argument before the CIT earlier this year in defense of the agency’s actions. For its part, AHSTAC also appealed one aspect of Commerce’s final results – relating to the agency’s reliance on Bangladeshi labor values to establish labor wage rates in Vietnam. The U.S. government asked the CIT to grant a voluntary remand so that Commerce could further consider AHSTAC’s arguments and issue revised final results. The CIT granted the government’s request and ordered Commerce to submit its remand determination in May.

Read the Court of International Trade’s Opinion in Tri Union Frozen Products Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 16-33, Consol. Court No. 14-00249 (April 2016) here: http://www.cit.uscourts.gov/SlipOpinions/Slip_op16/16-33.pdf.

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