Today, the U.S. Court of International Trade issued a decision granting the government’s request to reopen the 5th annual review of the antidumping duty order covering shrimp from China imported between 2009 and 2010. The Department of Commerce will now consider evidence that the Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee (AHSTAC) brought to the agency’s attention in the 6th annual review covering shrimp from China imported between 2010 and 2011. This evidence was made public in 2012 as part of a criminal prosecution related to mislabeled imported catfish. The evidence suggested involvement of a Chinese company in transshipping shrimp through Cambodia to evade antidumping duties.
In the 6th annual review, Commerce took AHSTAC’s evidence seriously and asked the Chinese exporter to explain. The exporter refused. In the course of the proceeding, Commerce found that the exporter had made material misrepresentations regarding its relationship with a purportedly unrelated shrimp exporter in Cambodia. As a result, subject imports from that Chinese exporter between February 2010 and January 2011 were assigned a 112.81% duty rate.
Today’s court decision authorizes Commerce to take further remedial action to address determinations that may have been based on fraudulent representations of a foreign exporter. Based on the same evidence, the government has also recently reopened a 2007 proceeding regarding the Chinese exporter’s corporate status. Commerce has also asked the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for permission to reopen the 4th annual review.
The Southern Shrimp Alliance applauds the decision of the Court of International Trade allowing Commerce to conduct further investigations of prior proceedings and further commends Commerce for not only taking strong action responding to evidence of import fraud in the 6th annual review, but for its willingness to consider that evidence in prior reviews as well. Regardless of the outcome of the additional investigations, the Commerce’s actions confirm the agency’s emphasis on addressing fraud in trade proceedings.
Read the Court of International Trade’s Opinion in Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee v. United States, Court No. 11-0035 (January 2013) here: http://www.cit.uscourts.gov/SlipOpinions/Slip_op13/13-04.pdf