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December 20, 2014

United States

Washington DC—New “Leveling the Playing Field” Act Introduced

 

Senator Sherrod Brown (Democrat-Ohio) has introduced the “Leveling the Playing Field Act” in the USA Senate with supported from the Committee to Support USA Trade Laws.  The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) has voiced its support for the Act because it could save its members’ businesses and protect the industry from what it calls “unfairly traded shrimp from overseas”.

 

Dr. David Veal, director of ASPA, based in Biloxi, Mississippi, said, “The Leveling the Playing Field Act will ensure that American companies have the resources necessary to combat unfair foreign trade practices.  Dumped and subsidized shrimp imports have seized market share, driven down prices and repeatedly thrown our industry into crisis.”

 

ASPA contends that imported shrimp is priced far below normal value, often below the cost of production, which creates an unfair marketplace for the USA shrimp industry’s family-owned processors, boats and docks.  Senator Brown said the bill will “restore strength to antidumping and countervailing duty laws — cracking down on unfair foreign competition.”

 

The Leveling the Playing Field Act would:

 

• Maintain the Department of Commerce’s (DOC) discretion to use adverse facts available when a mandatory respondent does not cooperate with an investigation and clarify that the agency is not obligated to determine what the tariff would have been if the respondent had cooperated with the investigation.

 

• To ensure a determination is based on a comprehensive assessment of the situation, the number of factors and the length of time the International Trade Commission could use to evaluate injury or the threat of injury to USA producers would be increased.

 

• Close the “new shipper” loophole, used by companies to circumvent antidumping and countervailing duties.

 

• Increase penalties for failure to provide a country of origin certificate for merchandise covered under antidumping and countervailing duty orders or for falsifying the information on the certificate.

 

• Clarify that DOC has the authority to determine whether to include voluntary respondents in an investigation.

 

• Clarify that DOC does not have to conduct an additional investigation to prove that disregarded product values used in non-market economy investigations are subsidized or dumped if the record already shows the product values to be distorted.

 

• Clarify existing statutory provisions used to assess whether a country’s non-market economy status should be maintained.

 

Source: SeafoodSource.com.  Editor, Sean Murphy (smurphy@divcom.com).  U.S. Shrimp Processors Group Supports New Trade Bill.  James Wright (jwright@divcom.com).  December 19, 2014.

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