On Thursday, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and, separately, U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) filed letters with the U.S. International Trade Commission requesting that the antidumping duty orders on shrimp from China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam be continued for another five years.
Senator Cassidy’s letter explained that the U.S. shrimp industry supports 15,000 jobs in the state of Louisiana alone, with an annual economic impact in the state of $1.3 billion. Senator Cassidy observed that the antidumping duty “orders have imposed needed discipline on imports and allowed our vital Louisiana industry to survive.” Nevertheless, in response to unfairly-traded imports, “many small fishermen, processors, and distributors [have been] forced to close” and “the domestic shrimp industry remains fragile.” Senator Cassidy noted that “[w]e must use every tool at our disposal to help these hardworking Americans remain competitive and ensure that the rich traditions of this industry are passed down to future generations.”
Representative Graves emphasized that “[g]enerations of hardworking Louisianian families have relied on [the shrimp] industry, not just to eat well, but for their livelihoods.” Representative Graves reported that, with the help of heavy subsidization by foreign governments, “foreign shrimp producers have only added more capacity since 2003 – and they continue to target United States markets.” Already facing massive amounts of shrimp imports in the market, if the antidumping duties were removed, “the dam will break, and the Louisiana shrimp industry will collapse under the pressures of an increased flood of imports.” If this happens, “[t]he domestic industry will be forced to cut prices to unsustainable levels, lose sales, slash production, or tie up their boats permanently.”
On April 11, 2023, representatives of the domestic shrimp industry appeared before the Commission at a public hearing to advocate for the continuation of trade relief. The industry’s testimony was led by the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA), which was represented by five witnesses at the hearing, including ASPA’s President. In addition, the President and Vice-President of the Southern Shrimp Alliance appeared before the Commission alongside a representative from Bowers Seafood to also argue for an extension of the antidumping duties for another five years.
The U.S. International Trade Commission is currently scheduled to vote on whether to continue the antidumping duties on June 1, 2023. Final comments to the agency are due no later than May 22, 2023.
“This industry has been blessed with a Congressional delegation that is committed to a thriving U.S. commercial shrimp fishery and we are all incredibly grateful for the show of support by Senator Cassidy and Representative Graves,” said John Williams, Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “As a unified industry, we fought hard to get the antidumping duty orders imposed and we have had to continue to fight every day since to keep them in place. Having Senator Cassidy, Representative Graves, and other Congressional allies in our corner while we do so has been hugely helpful.”
Read Senator Cassidy’s April 20, 2023 Letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission here: https://shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/04.20.23-Cassidy-Shrimp-Sunset-Letter-FINAL.pdf
Read Senator Cassidy’s April 20, 2023 Press Release, “Cassidy Urges International Trade Commission to Keep Antidumping Orders on Shrimp from China, India, Thailand, Vietnam” here: https://www.cassidy.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cassidy-urges-international-trade-commission-to-keep-antidumping-orders-on-shrimp-from-china-india-thailand-vietnam
Read Rep. Graves’s April 20, 2023 Letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission here: https://shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/04.20.23-Graves-Shrimp-Sunset-Letter.pdf