China challenges U.S. shrimp tariffs

The United States on Monday blasted China's decision to challenge U.S. shrimp tariffs at the World Trade Organization, saying it is “deeply disappointed” in China’s move.

China is calling on the United States to comply with the WTO’s rulings on “zeroing.” Two years ago, the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body ruled that the practice of zeroing is illegal, agreeing with Thailand that the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) artificially inflated U.S. shrimp tariffs using the controversial methodology. In zeroing, examples where imported goods cost more than they do in their home market are ignored.

But the DOC in December issued a proposal to end zeroing in its annual reviews of antidumping tariffs, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office.

“Nonetheless, China has determined to pursue consultations even as the United States is in the midst of its domestic legal and administrative compliance process, including consultations with Congress,” said USTR spokeswoman Nefeterius McPherson, adding that China’s move only complicates the matter.

The DOC imposed tariffs on shrimp from China, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Brazil and Ecuador in early 2005 after the Southern Shrimp Alliance — an eight-state group representing fishermen and processors from the Carolinas to Texas — filed an antidumping petition, arguing that foreign exporters were selling shrimp in the U.S. market at less than fair value. Since then tariffs on shrimp from Ecuador have been rescinded.


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