On Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced the final results of the fourteenth administrative review of the antidumping duty order on frozen warmwater shrimp from People’s Republic of China, covering Chinese shrimp imported into the United States between February 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019.
As part of its final results, Commerce determined that Shantou Red Garden Food Processing Co., Ltd. (Red Garden) was not exempt from the antidumping duty order and sold shrimp into the United States market during the review period at less than fair value, with a dumping margin of 58.96%. Commerce rejected arguments made by Red Garden that the company was entitled to ship frozen warmwater shrimp free of antidumping duties as the result of a dispute settlement proceeding brought by the Chinese government at the World Trade Organization. Commerce found that the Red Garden currently operating was not successor-in-interest of the company previously operating as Red Garden that was the subject to the original antidumping investigation in 2004 and, as such, could not benefit from the prior company’s exclusion. Commerce additionally found that the entity that had received the exemption no longer existed.
The record of the administrative proceeding shows that in addition to addressing the legal arguments presented by the parties, Commerce also responded to inquiries from Congress regarding Red Garden. Specifically, the record shows that, in a March phone call, a member of Congress expressed concern that a seafood importing company in their district would be required to pay as much as $7 million in antidumping duties if Red Garden was found to be subject to the antidumping duty order. In its written response to the concerns voiced, Commerce explained that it believed the $7 million figure to be “significantly overstated,” as it was likely based upon an assumption that antidumping duties of 112.81% would be assessed on imports of shrimp from Red Garden. Using the estimated figure publicly given to Commerce, the final antidumping rate of 58.96% implies potential liability of $3.6 million for the importer.
“We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Commerce for conducting a thorough investigation of Shantou Red Garden,” said John Williams, the Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “We think this is the correct result and shows, once again, the Trump Administration’s commitment to the effective enforcement of our trade laws.”