United States shrimpers are asking the federal government to take swift action against imports of dumped shrimp from Thailand, China, Vietnam, India, Ecuador, and Brazil that are injuring the domestic industry.
The Shrimp Trade Action Committee, an ad hoc committee of vessel owners and shrimp processors, petitioned the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission to restore conditions of fair trade in shrimp by imposing antidumping duties on shrimp imported from the six nations. The Mexican shrimp industry has also joined the call for fair trade and supports the trade action.
“The US shrimp industry is in dire straits. Competitive and efficient companies are closing, unemployment is rising, and boats are being repossessed. The key reason is the high and increasing level of dumped shrimp imports entering the US market,” said Eddie Gordon, president of the Southern Shrimp Alliance.
In 2000, the value of the US shrimp harvest was $1.25 billion. Due to the flood of dumped imported shrimp from the targeted countries, the value of the US shrimp harvest in 2002 plunged more than 50% to $560 million.
The Southern Shrimp Alliance, an alliance of eight southern coastal states from North Carolina to Texas, represents harvesters, processors, and distributors of American wild-caught shrimp.