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1

Trade Investigations Initiated on Shrimp from Ecuador, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam

On November 14th, the U.S. Department of Commerce formally started investigations into unfair trade practices related to shrimp imports from Ecuador, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. This comes in response to petitions by the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) seeking antidumping and countervailing duties on shrimp from these countries.

The U.S. International Trade Commission held a conference on November 15th, where ASPA and the U.S. Shrimpers Coalition testified for trade relief for the U.S. shrimp industry. ASPA and the Southern Shrimp Alliance submitted separate post-conference briefs supporting trade relief on November 20th. The Commission is set to vote on the preliminary phase of the investigation on December 8th.

Why This Matters

  • Non-Chinese-origin shrimp from Argentina, Ecuador, and Indonesia are being sent to China for processing before export to the United States. This shrimp is entered into the United States as a product of the country in which it was harvested rather than processed and is not subject to the 25 percent duty on all other Chinese seafood.

 

  • The U.S. shrimp industry must continue to aggressively oppose efforts by importers to benefit from the exploitation of vulnerable populations across the world.

 

  • A lack of transparency in foreign seafood supply chains has allowed U.S. importers to take advantage of forced labor in provinces throughout China, including Shangdong and Liaoning.

2

CBP Publicly Discloses the Amount of Duties Collected on Shrimp Imports

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revealed, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from SSA, that it collected $32.5 million in antidumping duties on shrimp in fiscal year (FY) 2018, $37.5 million in FY2021, and $43.9 million in FY2022. This information was not previously disclosed publicly. In total, the U.S. Treasury received about $392.3 million from antidumping duties collected on shrimp imports between FY2014 and FY2022.

Why This Matters

  • The public disclosure of duty collections is crucial for SSA to monitor and address potential evasion schemes by U.S. shrimp importers. Past evasion has resulted in over $120 million in uncollected antidumping duties on shrimp imports.

 

  • Duties on shrimp imports collected after October 1, 2007, have funded federal government activities unrelated to the commercial shrimp fishery.

 

  • Proposed legislation, the Laws Ensuring Safe Shrimp (LESS) Act, aims to direct the vast majority of duties collected on shrimp imports towards improving the U.S. shrimp market for all participants, including foreign exporters that have eliminated banned antibiotics from their production methods.
3

Manifest Modernization Act Introduced to Require Public Information on Imports

On November 2nd, Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Manifest Modernization Act, a new law aiming to fix loopholes in U.S. laws that prevent the disclosure of shipment details for most imports into the United States. The proposed legislation not only calls for revealing the country of shipment but also demands disclosure of the country where the goods were produced, as advocated for by SSA.

Why This Matters

  • Unlike ocean freight, information about shipments via air, rail, and truck entering the U.S. is currently not required to be publicly disclosed. This creates opportunities for fraudulent trade, especially when goods subject to duties are routed through Canada and Mexico before entering the United States.

 

  • The U.S. shrimp industry, after successfully addressing trade fraud involving Chinese-origin shrimp routed through countries like Cambodia and Malaysia, has identified trade patterns suggesting similar fraudulent practices through Canada and Mexico with false declarations about the origin of the shrimp.
4

CBP Completes Duty Assessments on All Imports Subject to the Byrd Amendment/CDSOA

Last month, CBP completed issuing liquidation instructions for every import entry that is subject to the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA/Byrd Amendment). This completes the duty assessment process for 4,900 import shipments that entered the U.S. prior to October 1, 2007. With formal duty assessments done, CBP will focus on collecting all such duties owed by importers. The collected duties will be distributed through CDSOA. Thus far, CBP has distributed $3.6 billion in CDSOA funds to affected domestic producers across a wide array of industries.

Why This Matters

  • As the direct result of the antidumping duty orders obtained by the Southern Shrimp Alliance, CBP has distributed over $272 million to members of the shrimp industry under CDSOA since FY2006.

 

  • Last year, CBP disbursed roughly $340,000 in CDSOA funds to members of the shrimp industry and payments for FY2023 are currently being made.

 

  • Once CBP completes the collection process for antidumping duties owed on shrimp imports entered into the United States prior to October 1, 2007, and distributes these duties through CDSOA, the program will end with no further payments. CBP intends to continue efforts to collect duties owed for “an undetermined period.”
5

SSA’s Board Plans for 2024 at Annual Board Meeting

Over two days at its Annual Board Meeting in Tampa, FL, SSA heard from officials and experts on dozens of trade issues, legislation, and fishery regulations that impact the US shrimp industry. Your elected representatives and guests learned about the threats and opportunities facing the shrimp industry and set goals for the upcoming year.

Why This Matters

  • The annual meeting provides an opportunity for government officials, regulators, academics, and non-profits to present information to and receive questions from the Board members directly. The robust participation highlights the high level of cooperation between SSA’s representatives and those whose work impacts the shrimp industry.

 

  • SSA’s Board is responsible for the financial health and stewardship of the shrimp industry’s national trade association. It reviewed the 2023 spending versus budget and set the spending objectives for 2024.