WASHINGTON: In a setback to $4.7 billion Indian seafood exports sector, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has unanimously voted to extend the anti-dumping orders on imports of frozen warm water shrimp for five more years. The United States is the largest market for Indian exporters.
As a result of the Commission's determinations, the existing anti-dumping duty orders on imports of the perishable product from China, Thailand, and Vietnam will also remain in place.
"The USITC determined that revoking the existing anti-dumping duty orders on imports of frozen warm water shrimp from China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time," stated an official statement of the commission.
This action is part of the sunset review process mandated by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. The Act requires the Department of Commerce (DoC) to revoke an anti-dumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless the DoC and the USITC determine that revoking the order or terminating the suspension agreement might lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies (commerce) and of material injury (USITC) within a reasonably foreseeable time.
The anti dumping duty was imposed on Indian frozen warm water shrimps since 2004-05. US did not repeal the duty on Indian frozen water shrimps in the first five year which was further extended to another five years.
"USITC voted 5-0 against us. The USITC voted to remove the orders on Brazil. For India, the anti dumping duty will continue for another five years", said Tara Patnaik, Chairman, Falcon Marine Exports Ltd, country's largest exporter.
"The exporters have to do the business without knowing the rate of duty in advance. We have to do the business amidst uncertainty", he added.
USA is the largest importer of Indian seafood with a share of 28.46 per cent in terms of USD. The total exports to USA stood at $1,334.05 million in 2015-16.
The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) has welcomed the extension of the anti-dumping orders by USITC on shrimp from China, India, Thailand and Vietnam for an additional five years.
"We at ASPA are grateful that the USITC affirmed evidence of the risk that dumped shrimp imports from these five nations poses to the domestic shrimp industry", said David Veal, Executive Director of ASPA. “We in the domestic shrimp industry look forward to five additional years of relief from unfair foreign trade practices", Veal added.