On Friday, the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) issued an order authorizing the government to reopen the 4th annual review of the antidumping duty order covering shrimp imported from China between 2008 and 2009. Although that review concluded in 2010, the Commerce Department now will consider evidence made public in 2012 suggesting transshipment through Cambodia to evade antidumping duties. This evidence, from a criminal prosecution related to mislabeled imported catfish, was brought to the government’s attention by the Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee (AHSTAC).
AHSTAC filed a lawsuit in 2010 challenging the results of the 4th administrative review. The CIT in 2011 found that Commerce improperly ignored AHSTAC’s evidence – including reports of transshipment to evade antidumping duties. AHSTAC appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2012 after the CIT found that Commerce had adequately responded to the evidence on the record at the time. While this appeal was pending, however, Commerce sought permission to reconsider AHSTAC’s new evidence. The Court of Appeals sent the case back to the CIT in May 2013, and now the CIT has sent it back to Commerce.
This decision is the latest in a string of development regarding the antidumping duty order on shrimp from China. In the 6th annual review covering shrimp imported between 2010 and 2011, Commerce reversed a preliminary decision that would have freed a Chinese exporter from the discipline of trade relief. Instead, Commerce assigned a 112.81% rate to the exporter after discovering misrepresentations regarding its affiliation with a Cambodian company. Commerce did the same after reconsidering its 5th annual review covering shrimp imported between 2009 and 2010. Commerce has also preliminarily reversed a 2007 determination as to the corporate identity of that Chinese exporter. Each of these developments resulted from a single submission by AHSTAC in a Commerce administrative proceeding.
The Southern Shrimp Alliance commends the CIT and the Federal Circuit for allowing Commerce to reconsider prior agency proceedings. The Southern Shrimp Alliance further commends Commerce for seeking permission to fully investigate whether prior proceedings were tainted by misrepresentations. Whatever the eventual outcome of the 4th annual review, Commerce is positively continuing with its commitment to investigate and address fraud in trade proceedings.
Read the CIT’s Order in Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee v. United States, Court No. 2010-275 (July 2013) here: http://www.cit.uscourts.gov/SlipOpinions/Slip_op13/13-89.pdf
Read the Court of Appeals Federal Circuit’s Opinion in Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee v. United States, Court No. 2012-1416 (May 2013) here: