U.S. International Trade Commission Unanimously Determines to Maintain Antidumping Duties on Shrimp Imports

This morning, all five Commissioners on the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC” or “Commission”) announced their unanimous determination that the revocation of the existing antidumping duty orders on certain frozen warmwater shrimp from China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam would be likely to lead to the continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.  Because of this determination, the antidumping duty orders on shrimp from these four countries will remain in place.  The antidumping duty orders will next be subject to another sunset review in June of 2028.

In evaluating whether to continue existing trade relief on unfairly-traded imports, the ITC received a massive amount of information from the domestic shrimp industry.

Nineteen different U.S. shrimp processors, estimated to account for 55 percent of U.S. shrimp production in 2021 measured by live-weight or nearly 88 percent of U.S. shrimp production measured by headless, shell-on equivalent weight, provided the Commission with information regarding their operations over the last several years.  These processors informed the Commission that trade relief had allowed them to operate profitability between 2019 and September 2022.  Nevertheless, while showing industry-wide profits, margins were thin, with operating income ratios (as a percentage of net sales values) for the processing segment of the industry increasing from 0.9 percent in 2019 to 2.9 percent in 2020 before falling to 1.6 percent in 2021.  Of the 19 processors providing the agency with information, eight told the Commission that they suffered losses on their operations in 2021.

The Commission also received questionnaire responses from an incredible 329 domestic shrimp fishing and farming operations that accounted for over 21 percent of total U.S. wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp production in 2021.  The responses from these businesses showed that, as a whole, shrimp harvesters were able to operate profitably in 2019, 2020, and 2021 with the benefit of trade relief.  Shrimp farmers and fishermen collectively reported earning operating income ratios (as a percentage of net sales value) of 3.6 percent in 2019, 8.1 percent in 2020, and 6.6 percent in 2021.  Nevertheless, despite reporting being profitable as a whole, a large number of harvesting operations indicated that they were incurring losses.  In 2021, 80 of the 317 shrimp harvesting businesses providing information told the ITC that they had experienced losses that year.

The domestic industry’s participation in this sunset review this year was at unprecedented, record levels.  By way of comparison, in the original investigation, 130 commercial shrimpers, accounting for less than seven percent of total shrimp landings in 2003, responded to the agency’s questionnaire.  In the first sunset review, 156 shrimpers, accounting for just over four percent of total shrimp landings in 2009, submitted usable questionnaire responses, while in the second sunset review 182 shrimp farming or fishing operations, representing roughly twelve percent of total domestic shrimp production in 2015, filed questionnaires.

Beyond providing information in response to the agency’s questionnaires, the U.S. shrimp industry also participated in a hearing held before the Commission on April 11th.  At the hearing in Washington D.C., the President of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, Steve Bosarge, the Vice-President of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, Craig Wallis, and the Business Manager of Bowers Shrimp Farm and Bowers Seafood LLC, Michael Hooper, joined witnesses from the American Shrimp Processors Association (Reese Antley of Woods Fisheries Inc.; Larry Avery of Gulf Island Shrimp and Big Easy Foods; Kristen Baumer of Paul Piazza & Son, Inc.; Armond Gollott III of C.F. Gollott & Son Seafood, Inc.; and Trey Pearson of JBS Packing Company Inc.) to provide direct testimony regarding the importance of trade relief to the commercial warmwater shrimp fishery. 

“This morning’s vote was a great result for the industry,” explained John Williams, the Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance.  “Securing relief against dumped imports for another five years doesn’t happen without the unwavering support of our elected representatives, particularly Senator Bill Cassidy, Senator John Kennedy, and Congressman Garret Graves.  And it doesn’t happen without hundreds of businesses across the Gulf and South Atlantic investing significant time and resources into defending our industry.”

Review the U.S. International Trade Commission’s press release (June 1, 2023) regarding the determination to continue the antidumping duty orders on certain frozen warmwater shrimp from China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam here: 

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