On Wednesday, the Southern Shrimp Alliance participated in a training session on enforcement of antidumping and countervailing duties for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. In the presentation, SSA provided an overview of the U.S. warmwater shrimp industry, emphasizing the communities and families across the coasts of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico that continue to depend on commercial shrimping. The organization also provided background on the successful enforcement operations from CBP, HSI, and ICE in response to shrimp trade fraud, demonstrating how these actions have led to long-term stability of prices in the U.S. shrimp market.
SSA’s presentation was part of the Intellectual Property and Trade Enforcement Investigations (IPTEI) Course coordinated by the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center). The IPR Center, which is administered by ICE, heads a taskforce of domestic and foreign law enforcement agencies and hosts “Outreach and Training Sections” to increase information sharing with public and private sectors to combat the illegal importation and distribution of counterfeit, substandard and tainted goods. The training course is part of its mission to enforce U.S. trade laws.
This was the fourth time that the Southern Shrimp Alliance has participated in the IPR Center’s IPTEI Course.
“It was a privilege to be able to help train the agents responsible for keeping the U.S. market clear of fraudulent trade,” said John Williams, executive director of SSA. “The agents are very interested in understanding how their work benefits their fellow Americans. We’re fortunate to be able to express our thanks in person.”
During the training session, SSA gave examples of tactics employed by U.S. importers designed to evade U.S. trade and food safety laws. SSA’s research into transshipment of Chinese shrimp through Malaysia revealed some telltale signs that a product is likely to be fraudulent, allowing for targeted use of resources. Representatives of SSA showed agents the steps its researchers take to identify specific companies engaging in illegal trade.
“The IPR Center’s invitation to participate in training courses is an honor and significant step in SSA’s campaign to enhance the shrimp market for all producers and importers that compete without illegal shortcuts,” stated Williams. “SSA is extremely thankful to the IPR Center for including us and we look forward to continuing our partnership with enforcement agencies.”