ITC votes to keep U.S. shrimp tariffs


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
March 14, 2011

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Tuesday voted, 5 to 1, to leave antidumping tariffs on shrimp from Brazil, China, India, Thailand and Vietnam in place.

Imposed in 2005, the tariffs stem from an antidumping petition the Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA) — an eight-state group representing fishermen and processors from the Carolinas to Texas — filed in 2003, arguing that foreign exporters were selling shrimp in the U.S. market at less than fair value.

Last month, the ITC held a hearing to determine whether revoking the tariffs would result in the recurrence of dumping, listening to arguments from both domestic and foreign shrimp producers.

The hearing was part of a “sunset review” process required every five years. More often than not, the ITC rules in favor of domestic producers during a sunset review leaving tariffs intact.

“In the years leading up to the original investigation in 2004, the U.S. market was flooded with ever-increasing amounts of extremely low-priced shrimp from the subject countries,” said SSA Executive Director John Williams. “This dumping resulted in plummeting prices for shrimp fishermen and others in the domestic industry. It forced a number of people out of the industry and made those who remained much less profitable. The domestic shrimp industry was on the brink of collapse, and may have been decimated if the government had not imposed the antidumping duty orders in 2004.”

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