Tarpon Springs, FL– The Southern Shrimp Alliance welcomes today’s unanimous determination by the International Trade Commission (ITC) that the U.S. shrimp industry would continue to be injured by dumped imports of shrimp from India and Thailand if antidumping duties were removed. The ITC spent ten months investigating the ability of Thai and Indian companies to produce and export shrimp after the December 2004 tsunami and the effects of these exports on U.S. shrimpers. The determination confirms that antidumping duties will remain in effect until companies in India and Thailand and four other countries engage in fair trade and stop harmful pricing practices.
“The ITC properly concluded that the tsunami did not significantly impact the ability of the shrimp industries in India or Thailand to produce and export to this market,” stated Joey Rodriguez, President of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “While the Southern Shrimp Alliance sympathizes with the tsunami survivors, U.S. trade laws must be enforced until violators play by the rules of free trade.”
In January 2005, the U.S. shrimp industry won its antidumping cases, confirming that the industry has been injured by illegally dumped shrimp imports from six countries: Brazil, China, Ecuador, India, Thailand, and Vietnam. The year long investigation resulted in trade- weighted antidumping duties of 17.22 percent on shrimp imports from the six countries found to be in violation of U.S. trade laws.
Between 2000 and 2003, the Gulf and South Atlantic shrimp industry and related businesses lost $4.4 billion as the wholesale price of dumped shrimp imports dropped 31 percent. The U.S. shrimp industry lost thousands of jobs and hundreds of business as it was forced to compete against the unfair pricing of six countries. Since antidumping duties have been assessed on dumped shrimp imports, U.S. shrimpers have seen modest price increases. Imports from non-target countries have also increased supply to meet U.S. demand for shrimp.
“U.S. shrimpers thank the ITC for recognizing that unfair trade is the biggest obstacle facing our industry,” said Rodriguez. “The shrimp industry is currently recovering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and facing the same high fuel prices as the rest of America. We could not survive these short-term problems if dumped shrimp was allowed to flood our markets again.”
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita affected the majority of U.S. shrimp industry, costing billions of dollars in lost inventory, damaged equipment, and downtime. Yet, after weeks of rebuilding, the vast majority of shrimp processing facilities in the affected states have reopened their doors for business to varying degrees. Shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico are reporting plentiful catches of high quality shrimp after the storms.
Consumers can help support the shrimp industry’s heritage and communities by asking for wild-caught, American shrimp in restaurants and grocery stores.
SSA is an alliance of the U.S. warmwater wild shrimp fishery from eight states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. For more information on the SSA or the recent rulings and studies on shrimp imports, please visit www.shrimpalliance.com.