US sets preliminary CVD shrimp rates  

By

James Wright, Senior Editor

Published on
May 28, 2013

The U.S. government on Wednesday announced preliminary countervailing duty (CVD) rates for shrimp imports for seven countries under investigation. Rates ranged from less than 1 percent — or de minimus, in which no duties are collected — to more than 62 percent.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced its preliminary determinations on frozen warmwater shrimp from China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. While Ecuador and Indonesia escaped without any collectable duties (most producers were assigned rates less than 1 percent), the DOC found that many producers and exporters received countervailable subsidies.

In China, Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products Co. and its affiliates received a rate of 5.76 percent; all other producers and exporters in China were also assigned a preliminary subsidy rate of 5.76 percent.

In India, Devi Fisheries Limited and Devi Seafoods Ltd. received cash deposits of 6.1 percent and 5.72 percent, respectively. All other Indian producers and exporters were assigned a preliminary rate of 5.91 percent. DOC originally set subsidy rates higher, but determined that certain subsidy programs were terminated prior to the preliminary determination.

In Malaysia, Asia Aquaculture (M) Sdn. Bhd. And Kian Huat Aquaculture received subsidy rates of 10.8 percent and 62.74 percent, respectively. All other Malaysian producers and exporters were assigned a preliminary rate of 62.74 percent, the highest rate set by DOC.

In Thailand, Marine Gold Products Limited and Thai Union Frozen Products received subsidy rates of 1.75 percent and 2.09 percent, respectively. All other Thai producers and exporters were assigned a preliminary rate of 2.09 percent. Thailand is by far the United States' largest shrimp supplier.

In Vietnam, Minh Qui Seafoods Co. and Nha Trang Seaproduct Company received subsidy rates of 5.08 percent and 7.05 percent, respectively. All other Vietnamese producers and exporters were assigned a preliminary rate of 6.07 percent.

For the subsidy investigations in Ecuador and Indonesia, however, the DOC did not set any subsidy rates higher than 1.22 percent. These rates are de minimus, resulting in preliminary negative determination that applies the countries as a whole.

The Department will travel to the foreign countries to verify the subsidies that have been reported, and its final determinations are due on 12 August. If the U.S. International Trade Commission finds that the domestic industry is being injured, or threatened with injury, by reason of the subsidized imports, final countervailing duty orders will be imposed this fall.

“The long-term survival of the entire Gulf shrimp economy from harvesters to processors depends on the outcome of this case,” said David Veal, executive director of the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries (COGSI), the organization that in late December filed petitions seeking relief from subsidized shrimp imports. “Today’s announcement is an important step towards securing that survival.”

“With today’s announcement, importers of subsidized shrimp will start posting bonds equal to the preliminary subsidy margins,” added Eddy Hayes, counsel to COGSI and partner at the firm of Leake & Andersson. “Counteracting these subsidies is essential to leveling the playing field for American shrimp producers.”

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