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June 29, 2014

United States

Washington DC—$3 Million to Enforce the Collection of Shrimp Duties

 

USA Senator Mary Landrieu (Democrat, Louisiana), announced that she has directed $3 million to enforce the collect of duties from countries that illegally dump shrimp, crawfish and other seafood onto United States markets.

 

The funding is part of a bill that funds the USA Department of Homeland Security.  Landrieu chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

 

The bill requires that USA Customs and Border Protection work with the Departments of Commerce, Justice and Treasury to increase collection of anti-dumping and countervailing duties for unfairly traded imports, including shrimp and crawfish meat from China.

 

Anti-dumping duties are tariffs imposed on foreign imports by the Department of Commerce if it determines the import price is below fair market value and thereby would injure or threaten to injure a domestic industry.  Often, the logic of such duties is to protect domestic jobs, although critics argue that the duties lead to higher prices for domestic consumers.

 

The Southern Shrimp Alliance estimates that the United States has lost at least $130 million from shrimp that has been misclassified and thereby not charged the proper duties.

 

“Foreign governments continue to unfairly spend hundreds of millions of dollars to dump underpriced shrimp into the United States and put our shrimpers, crawfishermen and seafood producers at an unfair disadvantage,” Landrieu said.  “This funding will beef up our efforts to punish those who cheat the market and our seafood producers.

 

“I will continue to use this committee to protect these jobs, a time-honored way of life, and the thousands of shrimpers who call the Gulf Coast home.”

 

Complementing Landrieu’s efforts, John Williams, executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, said this week that “making sure that shrimp in the USA market is fairly traded is essential to the domestic shrimp industry.”

 

“Unfortunately, many foreign producers and importers continue to cheat the law to bring cheap product into this market and the senator’s support for greater enforcement and resources, including funding for the federal agencies responsible for policing circumvention, is greatly appreciated,” Williams said.  “Further, Senator Landrieu’s efforts to prevent and deter further import fraud, including making circumvention a point of emphasis in international trade negotiations, is very important to the future of the shrimp industry.”

 

In September 2013, Gulf of Mexico shrimp processors’ nearly year-long case seeking relief against various foreign shrimp imports died after the USA International Trade Commission struck down pending shrimp subsidy cases against China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam, voting 4-2 that Gulf shrimpers were not injured by those foreign imports and thus duties would not be imposed.

 

The Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries, which filed the petitions on December 28, 2012, said in a statement after the commission’s decision that the move denied “relief from unfair foreign imports to the thousands of Americans working in the USA shrimp industry.”

 

In 2012, imports of certain frozen warm-water shrimp from China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were valued at an estimated $101.9 million, $499.7 million, $551.2 million, $634 million, $142 million, $1.1 billion, and $426.2 million, respectively.

 

Twenty years ago, 80 percent of shrimp consumed in the United States came from domestic producers, with 20 percent imported.  Although Louisiana leads the country in domestic shrimp production, it generally amounts to less than five percent of the shrimp consumed in the United States.

 

Source: WWW.Nola.Com.  Sen. Mary Landrieu Announces $3 Million to Fight Illegally Imported Shrimp, Crawfish.  Benjamin Alexander-Bloch (email bbloch@nola.com, phone 1-504-352-2552.  June 27, 2014.

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