Fish & Seafood

ASPA Files Trade Petitions Addressing Frozen Shrimp Dumping & Subsidies

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The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) filed trade petitions on October 25 seeking antidumping duties on imported frozen warmwater shrimp from Ecuador and Indonesia, as well as countervailing duties on imported shrimp from Ecuador, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“The US shrimp market has been overwhelmed by massive quantities of underpriced shrimp imports, resulting in unsustainably low dockside prices, falling domestic market share, significantly lower profit margins, and historically high inventory levels,” stated a press release issued by the Biloxi, Mississippi-based trade group.

Imports from the four countries cited were valued at more than $6.6 billion in 2022, accounting for over 90% of all imported frozen warmwater shrimp that year. ASPA estimates dumping margins for Ecuador ranging as high as 111% and dumping margins for Indonesia ranging as high as 37%. In addition, the association says it has documented dozens of government subsidy programs benefitting shrimp farmers and processors in Ecuador, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, including subsidized loans, tax concessions, grants, export credits and the provision of land, water, and other inputs.

ASPA filed the petitions on behalf of the domestic shrimp harvesting and processing sectors, garnering support from hundreds of shrimp boats representing the majority of US warmwater shrimp landings and from processors representing over 85% of domestic shrimp processing.

“We are truly proud to file these cases on behalf of shrimp boats and shrimp processors,” noted ASPA President Trey Pearson. “The overwhelming outpouring of support from the entire shrimp industry demonstrates how important trade relief is to everyone. Our petitions include nearly 800 shrimp harvesters representing over half of all domestic landings.”

“Shrimp imports from the four countries cited increased by more than 200 million pounds from 2020 to 2022, taking market share from an already vulnerable domestic industry, according to the ASPA press release. “Imports also deeply undersold domestic shrimp, driving down prices to historically low levels in 2023 for both fishermen and processors. As a result, the domestic industry’s profit margin has all but disappeared, threatening the future viability of an industry that is critical to the Gulf region’s economy and cultural heritage.”

Elizabeth Drake and Eddy Hayes, counsel to ASPA, provided the following statement in connection with the filings: “These petitions are necessary due to continued unfair trade practices causing significant market distortions and price depression in the United States. If successful, antidumping and countervailing duty orders will result in tariffs that offset the dumping and subsidies undertaken by foreign companies and foreign governments. This should bring a measure of market correction and badly needed relief to the entire domestic shrimp industry.”

The petitions were filed at both the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission. The Department of Commerce is expected to announce whether it will initiate investigations by November 15, and the Commission is expected to vote on whether there is a reasonable indication of injury to the domestic industry on December 8. If both determinations are affirmative, full investigations at both agencies will last into the fall of 2024.