The Impact of the US “Double Anti” Investigation on Imported Frozen Shrimp

frozen shrimp

In a decisive move to protect domestic interests, the International Trade Commission (ITC) of the United States passed a “double anti” investigation into imported warm water shrimp with a unanimous vote of 4:0 on December 8, 2023. This landmark decision sets the stage for importers to commence deposit payments starting March 2024, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing discourse surrounding the importation of frozen shrimp into the United States.

The Genesis of the “Double Anti” Investigation

The United States’ stance against imported warm water shrimp from Ecuador, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam crystallized on November 15th, when the Department of Commerce (DOC) initiated anti-dumping and countervailing investigations. This move, solidified by the ITC’s unanimous vote, underscores the legislative body’s determination that imported shrimp products from these countries have detrimentally impacted local industries.

A Push for Domestic Protection

The American Shrimp Processing Association (ASPA)‘s appeal on October 25th for anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imported frozen shrimp underscores a growing concern for the survival of domestic producers. ASPA’s representative lawyer, Elizabeth Drake, highlighted the significant increase in shrimp product imports by 15.6% from 2020 to 2022, a trend perceived as encroaching upon the livelihoods of domestic producers.

Addressing Market Disruptions

The driving force behind the United States legislative action is the considerable market share—80%—that shrimp imports from the aforementioned countries hold. These countries benefit from government-backed preferential programs, contributing to practices that ASPA deems harmful to the US shrimp industry. Detailed allegations of dumping practices, particularly by Ecuador and Indonesia, with dumping rates ranging significantly, paint a dire picture of the domestic shrimp industry’s plight.

The unanimous vote by the ITC, as articulated by ASPA Chairman Trey Pearson, affirms the adverse effects of imported shrimp products on domestic producers, highlighting the dire consequences for prices and the viability of local shrimp processors and fishing companies.

The Road Ahead: Preliminary Investigations and Industry Impact

With the Department of Commerce set to conduct a preliminary investigation, the anticipated imposition of deposits in March 2024 represents a critical juncture for both US importers and overseas manufacturers. The outcomes of these investigations, particularly the preliminary conclusions on anti-dumping duties expected in May 2025, will significantly influence the future dynamics of the frozen shrimp market in the United States and beyond.

This legislative measure, while aimed at protecting domestic interests, poses broader questions about the global seafood trade, the balance between protecting local industries and fostering international trade relations, and the future of shrimp aquaculture globally. As stakeholders from across the spectrum await further developments, the “double anti” investigation serves as a stark reminder of the complexities inherent in the seafood trade, underscored by the need for sustainable practices and equitable market conditions.

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