Dec 21 2004

SHELBY APPLAUDS COMMERCE DEPARTMENT DETERMINATIONS ON IMPORTED SHRIMP

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) today applauded the determination made by the Department of Commerce that shrimp producers and exporters from Brazil, Ecuador, India and Thailand sold frozen and canned warmwater shrimp in the United States at less that fair market value. This determination affirms statements made by the Southern Shrimp Alliance and others that the shrimping industry in Alabama and other southern states have suffered because of these foreign imports.

The Commerce Department found that producers and exporters have sold frozen and canned warmwater shrimp from Brazil, Ecuador, India, and Thailand in the U.S. market at less than fair market value, with margins ranging from:

 

  • 9.69 to 67.80 percent for Brazil

     

  • 2.35 to 4.48 percent for Ecuador

     

  • 5.02 to 13.42 percent for India

     

  • 5.79 to 6.82 percent for Thailand

In late 2003, Senator Shelby wrote to Commerce Secretary Don Evans asking the Department to conduct an investigation regarding the activities of foreign shrimp producers and exporters. The letter stated, in part, "According to my constituents, unprecedented surges in imported shrimp have caused domestic shrimp prices to plummet to record lows. Such prices have made it difficult, if not impossible, for shrimpers to support themselves and their families. For this reason, I believe it is important that the Department of Commerce move quickly to examine the allegations of illegal dumping and, if sufficient evidence of dumping is found, to grant all appropriate relief."

Senator Shelby stated, "I am pleased that the Department of Commerce has made this determination and will address the adverse impact that these illegal imports have had on our domestic shrimp industry. A vibrant domestic shrimp industry is absolutely crucial to Alabama communities located along the Gulf Coast."

Moving forward, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is scheduled to announce its final injury determinations for Brazil, Ecuador, India and Thailand on or about January 31, 2005. If the ITC makes final affirmative determinations that imports are materially injuring, or threatening to materially injure, the domestic industry, the Department will issue antidumping duty orders and will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) to collect cash deposits on imports of subject merchandise. If the ITC makes negative injury determinations, the investigations will be terminated and no orders will be issued.

"I am confident that the ITC will find that these imports have adversely affected the domestic market so that customs can begin collecting import duties in an effort to curtail these imports," Shelby added.