WTO Upholds Shrimp Bond Ruling
The World Trade Organization's Appellate Body yesterday upheld a previous ruling that the United States violated international trade law by requiring foreign shrimp exporters subject to antidumping tariffs to post a bond covering the tariffs' full amount.
The complaint was brought by Thailand and India, two of the six countries subject to U.S. shrimp antidumping tariffs. A WTO panel ruled in favor of Thailand and India in February, and the United States appealed the decision.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection enacted the bond requirement in 2004 to crack down on tariff evasion, but shrimp is the only product subject to the requirement.
Yesterday's ruling hinged on whether the bond is a reasonable security or an excessive burden on foreign shrimp exporters, who, in addition to the bond, must pay the tariffs. Thailand and India argued that any antidumping penalty beyond a tariff is excessive.
Thailand exported more than 415 million pounds of shrimp to the United States last year, by far more than any other country, while India shipped more than 45 million pounds.