BILOXI, Miss., May 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced its preliminary determinations regarding foreign government subsidies benefitting U.S. imports of shrimp from China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The DOC preliminarily found subsidy levels ranging from less than one percent to more than 62 percent, depending on the foreign country and producer involved. The Department will now travel to the foreign countries to verify the subsidies that have been reported, and its final determinations are due on August 12, 2013. If the U.S. International Trade Commission finds that the domestic industry is being injured, or threatened with injury, by reason of the subsidized imports, final countervailing duty orders will be imposed this fall.
"The long-term survival of the entire Gulf shrimp economy from harvesters to processors depends on the outcome of this case," said David Veal, Executive Director of COGSI. "Today's announcement is an important step towards securing that survival."
"With today's announcement, importers of subsidized shrimp will start posting bonds equal to the preliminary subsidy margins," said Eddy Hayes, counsel to COGSI and partner at the firm of Leake Andersson. "Counteracting these subsidies is essential to leveling the playing field for American shrimp producers," he noted.
"We have documented more than one hundred different government shrimp subsidy programs across these seven nations," said Elizabeth Drake, a partner at the Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart and the lead attorney on the cases for COGSI. "We commend the Department of Commerce for their efforts to date, and we know they will conduct thorough verifications to confirm that all subsidies have in fact been disclosed," she added.
"Today's announcement is an important victory for the entire U.S. shrimp industry, from Texas to North Carolina," added Veal. "The Department of Commerce has worked hard to investigate foreign subsidy programs in an unusually short timeframe, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that the final duty margins accurately reflect the full amount of subsidies foreign producers receive," he added.
COGSI filed petitions seeking relief from subsidized shrimp imports on December 28, 2012. The U.S. DOC is responsible for determining whether countervailable subsidies have been provided to producers and exporters of imported goods. The U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") is responsible for investigating whether a domestic industry is materially injured (or threatened with material injury) by reason of subsidized imports.
About the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries: The Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries was formed to support these petitions and to work for the long-term survival of the entire Gulf shrimp industry. The domestic producers supporting the petitions account for the vast majority of domestic U.S. production, and they represent the industry across the coastal states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas. For a fact sheet with more information on the cases, go to www.gulfshrimpcoalition.com.
CONTACT: Media Contacts: David Veal, Executive Director email@example.com (228) 806-9600 Edward Hayes, Legal Counsel firstname.lastname@example.org (504) 717-9787Source:Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries