SSA Submits Comments in Support of Commerce’s Proposal to Treat Currency Undervaluation as a Countervailable Subsidy

Last week, the Southern Shrimp Alliance submitted formal comments in support of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) proposed modification of the agency’s regulations that would now treat currency undervaluation by trading partners as a countervailable subsidy.

On May 28th, notice was published in the Federal Register that Commerce was proposing to amend its regulations pertaining to the determination of “benefit” and “specificity” in countervailing duty proceedings.  These amendments would allow Commerce to address subsidies granted to foreign industries by their government through currency undervaluation.

In its comments, the Southern Shrimp Alliance explained that, although foreign shrimp industries clearly benefited from countervailable subsidies granted by their respective governments, the U.S. federal government has taken no action to address this form of unfair trade.  The Southern Shrimp Alliance explained that subsidization of shrimp exporters, including in the form of currency undervaluation, harm not only the U.S. shrimp industry but also all other participants in the U.S. shrimp market that do not benefit from similar unfair trade practices.  For these reasons, the Southern Shrimp Alliance “strongly support[s] the Department’s efforts to modify its regulations to ensure that our trade remedy laws address all forms of countervailable subsidies, including currency undervaluation.”

Commerce received a total of forty-seven (47) comments regarding its proposed modification, including expressions of support for the agency’s proposal from the AFL-CIO; the United Steelworkers; the Steel Manufacturers Association; the American Iron and Steel Institute; the Alliance for American Manufacturing; the Economic Policy Institute; Nucor Corporation; the American Automotive Policy Council; the Coalition for a Prosperous America; the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood; the Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee; the American Line Pipe Producers Association; the American Manufacturers of Multilayered Wood Flooring; Gerdau Long Steel North America; the Rebar Trade Action Coalition; Seaman Paper Company of Massachusetts, Inc.; United States Steel Corporation; the Diamond Sawblades Manufacturers’ Coalition; the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance; the Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws; and Commercial Metals Company.

Read the Southern Shrimp Alliance’s June 27, 2019 comments in support of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s proposed modification of two regulations pertaining to benefit and specificity in countervailing duty proceedings here: http://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Comments_on_Regulations_Regarding_Benefit_and_Specificity-7-2-19.pdf

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