COGSI vows to keep up shrimp fight

The Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries (COGSI) is going over its options after the International Trade Commission (ITC)’s vote on Friday to quash countervailing duties against seven foreign exporters of shrimp to the United States, but COGSI Executive Director David Veal said he is not giving up.

“While the Commission did not vote in our favor today, we are not throwing in the towel on this vital issue,” Veal said in a statement.

COGSI filed the initial petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the ITC, charging that seven countries — China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam — were subsidizing their respective shrimp industries, giving exported shrimp from those countries an unfair advantage in the U.S. market over domestic producers.

While the DOC ultimately ruled that five of those countries, excluding Thailand and Indonesia, the ITC 4-2 vote on Friday found that none of those subsidies skewed the market enough to warrant action.

In his statement, Veal praised COGSI members for pressing for countervailing duties, and attorneys representing COGSI said there may be other courses of action left.

“We will work with COGSI to explore all options, including judicial review, policy changes, and other steps that may be needed to ensure that massive government subsidies are not allowed to fuel foreign exports, suppress U.S. prices, and endanger our domestic industries, including the U.S. shrimp industry,” said Elizabeth Drake, a partner at Stewart and Stewart law firm.


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