Indonesia to answer shrimp subsidy claims
Indonesian shrimp exporters will give an explanation on Tuesday to the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) following the commission’s preliminary investigation into an alleged government subsidy case.
Indonesian Fisheries Product Processing and Marketing Association chairman Thomas Darmawan said that 13 local firms would provide comprehensive information as required by the commission.
“We will give relevant data as requested, including our export figures and annual minimum wage. We are trying to cooperate by complying with all the procedures,” he said in Jakarta on Monday.
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently launched a fact-gathering mission as part of a preliminary anti-subsidy investigation following a petition filed by the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries on 28 December last year, alleging that frozen warm water shrimp processors from Indonesia received unfair government subsidies to boost their competitiveness in overseas markets.
The accusation also targeted six other countries: China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam in addition to Indonesia.
The U.S. industry has urged its government to impose punitive duties on the seven shrimp producers to offset the losses it had suffered. The ministry is slated to commence the probe into the case on Jan. 17. Prior to its initiation, Indonesian representatives are scheduled to take part in consultative talks with US government officials in Washington DC.
The Trade Ministry’s acting director general for foreign trade, Bachrul Chairi, said he hoped the U.S. would not impose an anti-subsidy duty as it would disrupt shipments of shrimp to the U.S., currently Indonesia’s largest shrimp export destination.
“The Indonesian government will go through all the investigative procedures and coordinate with all the relevant stakeholders,” he said in a statement to The Jakarta Post.