New Delhi - The $5.5-billion Indian seafood export market might face new restrictions in America. The new Donald Trump Government, in an executive order, is set to enforce countervailing duties strictly on countries held to be dumping goods. America is the major importer of Indian seafood, with a share of 28.5 per cent in 2015-16, for 153,695 tonnes worth $1.3 billion. Frozen shrimp is the principal item of export to the US, with a share of 94 per cent in value terms.
Another executive order directs their department of commerce and the Office of the US Trade Representative to examine every form of trade abuse and non-reciprocal practice that contribute to the US’ large and persistent trade deficit, largest of any major nation in 2016 at $500 billion. Within 90 days, both these agencies are to give a comprehensive report to the President on the causes.
“The US is the only country which is imposing an anti-dumping duty on Indian shrimp, to give level playing to its producers. The Indian government is protesting. President Trump is giving stress on creating more jobs in the US and the orders might be a move towards that. We have challenged the duty removal in a court in the US,” said an exporter which is a member of the Seafood Exporters Association of India.
Adding: “Indian exporters are (already) giving a fixed percentage as anti-dumping duty and a similar percentage as bond. There might (also) be non-tariff barriers like increased inspections, undue detentions, etc.” “We are very pleased that President Trump has taken major action to strengthen US trade enforcement,” recently stated American Shrimp Processor Association's executive director, David Veal. “This makes it harder for foreign companies to evade legally required duties and helps to level the playing field for US companies like our members against unfair foreign competitors.”
“In an industry like shrimp, small, family-owned American businesses have to compete with large volumes of unfairly traded imports, wherein foreign duty evasion is a perennial and widespread problem. When this order is implemented, duty collection should immediately improve. That means the competitiveness of our US shrimp industry improves and our members can create more jobs,” Veal had added.