Tarpon Springs, FL– Today, the International Trade Commission (ITC) self-initiated a “changed circumstances review” to determine whether imports of dumped shrimp from India and Thailand will continue to injure the U.S. shrimp industry after the impact of the tsunami of December 26, 2004. The U.S. shrimp industry, which the ITC in January unanimously found to be injured by illegally traded shrimp, is confident it will win its legal battle. But shrimpers and their communities throughout the Southeast will feel the high price of defending the trade action. The ITC is scheduled to issue its ruling on continued imposition of the duties within 120 days.
“Three months after the ITC unanimously found shrimpers to be injured by unfair trade, we have to demonstrate again that dumped imports from India and Thailand are still injuring us,” said Joey Rodriguez, President of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “We are confident we can prove our legal cases, but we would rather invest in our companies than pay lawyers to re-litigate the case we just won.”
Today’s decision does not change the market reality that six countries are subject to duties that average 17.04 percent (weighted for volume of trade). India and Thailand will remain subject to their respective 10.20 percent and 6.01 percent antidumping duties during the ITC’s changed circumstances review.
“Thailand and India continue to provide more than one-third of the shrimp consumed in the United States, despite the tsunami. It should be obvious that removing the antidumping duties and allowing these countries to continue to engage in unfair trade will result in further injury to the U.S. shrimp industry,” explained Rodriguez. “The only reason antidumping duties should be removed is if the countries stop dumping their shrimp.”
Dumping, or selling a product for less than its full, fair value or cost of production, is an unfair trade practice under U.S. and international trade laws. The unfair pricing practices of the six countries have caused thousands of U.S. job losses and hundreds of business closures and have resulted in the loss of $4.4 billion of U.S. economic activity. To discourage the market distorting effects of dumping, duties were imposed on February 1, 2005. By raising the price of the shrimp to non-dumped levels, payment of duties can be avoided.
“The United States has lost thousands of jobs and entire communities to dumped shrimp imports. Shrimpers have demonstrated that dumping is distorting the shrimp market and injuring American workers and that duties are required under U.S. trade laws. If antidumping duties are removed on India and Thailand in the name of helping tsunami victims, the U.S. shrimp industry will continue to hemorrhage as a result of dumped imports,” concluded Rodriguez. “The U.S. shrimp industry supports U.S. aid to countries that suffered great losses as a result of the tsunami, but believes the burden of providing aid to tsunami afflicted countries should be shared equally by all taxpayers, not just one U.S. industry.”
SSA is an alliance of the U.S. warmwater wild shrimp fishery from eight states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. For more information on the SSA or the recent rulings and studies on shrimp imports, please visit www.shrimpalliance.com.