Yesterday, the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) issued an opinion in the challenge to the final results of the 5th annual review of the antidumping duty order covering shrimp imported from China between 2009 and 2010 brought by the Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee (AHSTAC).
During the course of AHSTAC’s appeal, Commerce received permission to consider evidence made public in 2012 suggesting transshipment through Cambodia by a Chinese exporter to evade antidumping duties. This evidence, from a criminal prosecution related to mislabeled imported catfish and brought to the government’s attention by AHSTAC, led Commerce to discover that the Chinese exporter had misrepresented its affiliation with a Cambodian company. As a result, Commerce in April 2012 changed the antidumping duty rate for that exporter from 0% to the 112.81% rate. The exporter challenged the new decision and AHSTAC worked alongside the U.S. Department of Justice to defend Commerce.
In yesterday’s decision, CIT Chief Judge Pogue affirmed Commerce’s determination to disregard all of the Chinese exporter’s information and treat the company as being controlled by the Chinese government. Commerce properly found that the exporter had “significantly impeded this proceeding by submitting information containing material misrepresentations and inaccuracies.” Because of the affiliation misrepresentation, all information submitted by the exporter – including its claim to be separate from the Chinese government – was “inherently unreliable.” However, the CIT found that Commerce did not adequately justify the 112.81% antidumping rate and sent that issue back to the agency. Commerce has until September to either defend the 112.81% rate or choose a different rate.
The Southern Shrimp Alliance commends the CIT for affirming Commerce’s efforts to address fraud in trade proceedings. Yesterday’s decision supports Commerce’s capacity to respond to parties who commit material misrepresentation during the course of trade litigation.
The Southern Shrimp Alliance further commends Commerce for finding that the 5th administrative review was tainted by misrepresentation. Commerce fully considered the evidence provided by AHSTAC and conducted its own investigation. Whatever the eventual rate assigned, Commerce continues to demonstrate the agency’s commitment to address fraud in trade proceedings.
Read the CIT’s Opinion in Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee v. United States, Court No. 2011-335 (July 2013) here: http://www.cit.uscourts.gov/SlipOpinions/Slip_op13/13-93.pdf