US may levy countervailing duties on China shrimp

Updated: 2013-05-30 13:58


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WASHINGTON - The US Commerce Department on Wednesday announced its preliminary affirmative determination in the duty investigation against imports of frozen warmwater shrimp from five Asian countries, signaling that it may pose punitive duties on the products.

The department claimed that frozen warmwater shrimp exporters from China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam had received countervailing subsidies of 5.76 percent, 5.72 percent to 6.10 percent, 10.80 percent to 62.74 percent, 2.09 percent, and 5.08 percent to 7.05 percent, respectively.

Punitive duties would be imposed after both the Commerce Department and the US International Trade Commission (USITC) make affirmative final rulings. The US Commerce is scheduled to make its final determination on August 12, 2013. And then the US ITC will make its final injury determination on Sept 26, 2013.

If the ITC determines that imports from the five countries are materially injuring, or threatening material injury, to the US domestic industry, the Commerce will issue countervailing orders on Oct 3, 2013.

The investigations are in response to the petition filed by the US Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries, who alleged producers and exporters of China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have received financial assistance from governments.

But the US Commerce Department found exporters from Ecuador and Indonesia received subsidies of less than two percent, resulting in a preliminary negative determination.

In 2012, the United States imported frozen warmwater shrimp from China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam at an estimated $101.9 million, $499.7 million, $551.2 million, $634 million, $142 million, $1.1 billion and $426.2 million, respectively, according to the US Commerce Department.

The US government has already slapped antidumping duty orders on frozen warmwater shrimp from Brazil, China, India, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry has repeatedly urged the United States to abide by its commitment against protectionism and work together with China and other members of the international community to maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.