The U.S. International Trade Commission is currently considering whether to maintain antidumping duties on unfairly-traded shrimp imports from Brazil, China, India, Thailand and Vietnam for another five years. If the Commission determines that dumped imports are likely to cause or continue material injury to the U.S. shrimp industry in the event of the removal of duties, the trade remedy will remain in effect.
In written arguments and testimony, the domestic shrimp industry contends that the return of unfairly-traded imports into the U.S. market would once again lead to a collapse in prices and, in result, even more fishermen leaving the commercial fishery. A new flood of imports from the five countries would likely hollow out the remaining infrastructure of the industry and imperil the economies of small coastal communities from south Texas through North Carolina.
The shrimp industry’s arguments have been strongly supported by both state and federal elected officials. At a hearing held by the Commission on March 16, 2017, three U.S. Congressmen – Walter Jones (R-NC), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), and Garret Graves (R-LA) – testified in person as to the importance of the shrimp industry to their districts and voiced their support for the trade remedy. These Congressmen were joined at the hearing by the Lt. Governor of Louisiana, Billy Nungesser (R-LA). Lt. Governor Nungesser described the importance of the commercial fishing industry to the state of Louisiana and appealed to the Commission to maintain the antidumping duties.
Demonstrations of support have also been made through written submissions for the formal record of the sunset review. The Governor of the state of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, and, separately, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Jamie Miller, sent letters to the Commission asking that the antidumping duties be maintain. Letters of support for the trade remedy have also been submitted by four additional U.S. Congressmen: Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Randy Weber (R-TX), Bradley Byrne (R-AL), and Clay Higgins (R-LA). In addition, a joint letter emphasizing the importance of the shrimp industry to the state of Alabama and requesting that the antidumping duties be continued was sent to the Commission by Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Luther Strange (R-AL). Letters in support of the U.S. shrimp industry were also submitted by Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA).
“The support our industry has received by elected officials throughout the Gulf and South Atlantic coast has been extraordinary,” said John Williams, the Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “On behalf of the entire membership of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, I want to express our deepest appreciation to everyone that has worked to ensure the future of the U.S. commercial shrimp fishery.”
The U.S. International Trade Commission has provisionally scheduled its final vote on whether to continue the antidumping duty orders for Tuesday, May 2, 2017.
Read the letters from Rep. Walter Jones, Steven Palazzo, and Garret Graves and Lt. Governor Nungesser requesting to appear at the Commission’s hearing here: http://redwoodserver.com/shrimp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Requests-to-Appear1.pdf
Read the letters of support submitted to the Commission by state and federal elected officials here: http://redwoodserver.com/shrimp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Support-Letters1.pdf