In separate filings today, the Ad Hoc Shrimp Industry Committee (AHSIC) and the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries (COGSI) informed federal agencies that several more shrimp industry businesses sought to participate in the countervailing duty investigations of shrimp imports from China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
COGSI’s filing again restated that the northern Gulf group of processors and unloading docks that originally filed requests for trade relief did not wish to have shrimp fishermen included in the definition of the domestic industry. Addressing criticism that the petitions were not supported by any shrimpers, COGSI argued that the petitioning group was limited to processors of frozen shrimp and that only processors were relevant for determining whether the industry supported requests for trade relief.
COGSI also notified the government that another processor, located in South Carolina and formerly a member of AHSIC, had become a member of the Coalition, increasing COGSI’s representation of the domestic shrimp industry even further beyond 97.76% of all frozen warmwater shrimp processed in the United States in 2011. COGSI additionally argued that if shrimpers were to be considered part of the domestic shrimp industry, the views of fishermen supporting the petition should be taken into consideration. To that end, COGSI submitted letters of support from twenty shrimpers indicating that although these shrimpers were not full-fledged members of the Coalition, they were “individual supporters of the petition.”
For its part, AHSIC was named a party to the countervailing duty investigation before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Monday. Today, AHSIC notified the ITC that one processor member had joined COGSI and left the Ad Hoc Committee. AHSIC also reported that 59 additional shrimp industry businesses had joined the Ad Hoc Committee. In total, AHSIC is now comprised of 238 members, including nine different seafood industry associations spanning from Texas to North Carolina, 37 shrimp processors from around the country, and 176 shrimp fishing and farming businesses. 22 of the 37 shrimp processor members of AHSIC are located in Texas, Florida, or California – the three states that, according to NOAA, accounted for one out of every two pounds of shrimp processed in the United States in 2011.
The U.S. Department of Commerce will decide by Thursday whether there is sufficient industry support for trade relief to launch full investigations of foreign subsidies to shrimp exporters. On Friday, the ITC is scheduled to hold a staff conference as part of their preliminary investigation as to whether the domestic shrimp industry was materially injured by reason of subject imports.
Download the amended entry of appearance filed by the Ad Hoc Shrimp Industry Committee with the U.S. International Trade Commission: http://redwoodserver.com/shrimp/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Amendment-of-Entry-of-Appearance-Jan-151.pdf
Download “Petitioner’s Response to the Thai Producers’ Comments on Industry Support” (Jan. 15, 2013) submitted to the U.S. Department of Commerce by COGSI here: http://redwoodserver.com/shrimp/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Industry-Support.pdf