U.S. shrimp tariffs upheld
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced in the Federal Register on Friday that it has concluded its five-year review of antidumping tariffs on shrimp imports from Thailand, China, India and Brazil, ruling that rescinding the duties “would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping.”
The review, called a “sunset review,” began in early January and is conducted every five years.
Enacted in early 2005, the tariffs stem from an antidumping petition the Southern Shrimp Alliance, representing shrimp fishermen and processors from the Carolinas to Texas, filed in late 2003 against exporters in the four countries, in addition to Vietnam and Ecuador. The exporters were accused of dumping, or selling shrimp in the U.S. market below cost or fair market value.
The DOC also announced in Friday’s Federal Register that it has initiated its sunset review on shrimp imports from Vietnam. Tariffs on shrimp imports from Ecuador were lifted in 2007 after the World Trade Organization ruled that the U.S. practice of zeroing, a controversial method of calculating duties, is illegal.
The countrywide duty rates stand at 5.34 percent for Thailand, 112.81 percent for China, 10.17 for India and 7.05 for Brazil. Large exporters are issued separate duty rates that can be higher or lower than the countrywide rate.
Despite the tariffs, U.S. shrimp imports increased from 1.17 billion pounds in 2005 to 1.24 billion pounds in 2008. However, they fell 2.8 percent, to 1.21 billion pounds, in 2009.
In the first quarter of 2010, shrimp imports were down 4.4 percent, to 242.1 million pounds, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced earlier this week.