ANALYSIS - Countervailing duty orders on warmwater shrimp from China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia and Viet Nam have now been lifted after the US Trade Commission found the imports are of no threat to the US industry, writes Lucy Towers, TheMeatSite Editor.
The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) determined that the US shrimp industry is not hurt, nor threatened, by imports of frozen warmwater shrimp from China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, and Viet Nam, which the US Department of Commerce had determined as being subsidized.
In a 4-2 vote, commissioners Daniel R. Pearson, Dean A. Pinkert, David S. Johanson, and Meredith M. Broadbent voted in the negative, whilst Chairman Irving A. Williamson and Commissioner Shara L. Aranoff voted in the affirmative.
The Department of Commerce originally set the duties after a petition by the US Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries (COGSI), on the 28 December 2012, alleged that the countries had subsidized industries, which created an unfair advantage in competition over the US's domestic shrimp industry.
The COGSI expressed disappointment over the USITC's decision. Executive director David Veal stated: “I applaud the members of COGSI for leading the charge to restore fair trade in the shrimp industry. We filed these petitions because our industry is being hammered by large volumes of subsidized shrimp imports.
“The improved pricing we have seen in the market since the imposition of provisional duties on these imports in the spring of this year confirms how important relief from these subsidized imports is to the domestic industry. While the Commission did not vote in our favor today, we are not throwing in the towel on this vital issue,” he added.
The Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), stated that the USITC’s findings confirm that Vietnamese shrimp exporters have been operating under market mechanism and have not received any government subsidies.
The Commission's public report Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, and Viet Nam will contain the views of the Commissioners and information developed during the investigations and will be available on 22 October.
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