Southern Shrimp Alliance Asks Commerce to Limit Damage to Trade Laws from President Biden’s Emergency Declaration

Last week, the Southern Shrimp Alliance submitted comments in opposition to new regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) that would facilitate the importation of massive amounts of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (“CSPV”) cells and modules exempt from the payment of antidumping (“ADs”) and countervailing duties (“CVDs”). In July, Commerce proposed new regulations that would implement President Biden’s Emergency Declaration in June which claimed that the mere possibility that ADs and CVDs would be applied to CSPV cells and modules imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam was causing the United States to suffer shortages of solar cells.

In its comments, the Southern Shrimp Alliance explained that its members had no direct interest in CSPV cells and modules, but that the organization was nevertheless deeply concerned about the unprecedented action taken by the President to waive the application of trade remedy laws at the President’s discretion without serious justification. The Southern Shrimp Alliance observed that the law required Commerce to evaluate and analyze the impact of the proposed regulations on small businesses, including the small businesses that populate the domestic CSPV cells and modules industry. The comments submitted by the Southern Shrimp Alliance further emphasized the incredible expense and effort undertaken by small businesses – like those of shrimp fishermen, farmers, unloading docks, processors, and wholesalers – to obtain trade relief made available by Congress through law.

The Southern Shrimp Alliance asked Commerce to abandon its effort to promulgate new regulations and requested that the agency, instead, apply already existing regulations that recognize essential limits on the President’s ability to exempt imported goods from being subject to ADs and CVDs.

“There is not much in our nation’s laws that allow small businesses like those within the shrimp industry to get help against unfair competition,” said John Williams, Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “This industry fought hard to get the antidumping duty orders imposed and we have had to continue to fight every day since to keep them in place. It should be horrifying to all Americans to learn that folks can spend millions of dollars on connected political lobbyists and get the President to announce that the laws no longer apply.”

The Southern Shrimp Alliance’s August 1, 2022 comments to Commerce on the agency’s proposed regulations may be found at this link:  https://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/ITA-2022-0006-0004_attachment_1.pdf
Commerce’s proposed regulations and all comments received by the agency on its proposed regulations may be found here: https://www.regulations.gov/document/ITA-2022-0006-0001

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