CITAC Shrimp Task Force

July 2, 2004


George Felcyn
The PBN Company


CITAC/ASDA Shrimp Task Force Chairman Wally Stevens today characterized the latest Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA) absurd economic theories as a desperate attempt to convince the U.S. government to impose a new federal food tax on consumers. "The SSA employs classic sleight of hand to distract officials with the absurd claim that record shrimp consumption by U.S. consumers is due to prices that are too high," Stevens said, adding that he finds it strange logic that placing a food tax on shrimp imports will somehow result in lower prices.

"Unable to explain away the fact that imports have helped shrimp become America's #1 seafood now enjoyed by millions of Americans at reasonable prices, SSA is desperately trying to convince the U.S. government to believe that, if you raise the price of a product, consumption of that product will increase. In addition, according to SSA's latest rant, the solution to alleged high prices is to impose an additional federal food tax on a product which will somehow lower prices."

Studies released by the CITAC/ASDA Shrimp Task Force showed that the availability of shrimp at the nation's most popular restaurants has skyrocketed, with the number of shrimp offerings on menus at the nation's 200 largest restaurant chains increasing 47% from 1999 to 2003. Purchases of shrimp at grocery stores and other retail outlets doubled between 1995 and 2002. Shrimp consumption by Americans at all income levels has grown, with low income families showing the highest increase (45 percent) of any income level. A Task Force study also found that antidumping food taxes imposed on shrimp imports would cause prices for all shrimp sold in the U.S. to soar by 44%, and that such a price hike could lead to a one-third drop in all shrimp consumption.

Stevens continued, "SSA's argument is that shrimp has become too expensive, so everyone is buying it, and placing a tax on it will lower prices. The Shrimp Task Force prefers to continue to provide policymakers and the news media economic reports conducted by experts that are based on sound economic data and analysis. We urge all policymakers to compare analyses conducted by the Shrimp Task Force with SSA's rhetoric and reach their own conclusions."

Due to the threat that antidumping taxes pose to both consumers and to the consuming industries that serve them, the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) has formed an alliance with the American Seafood Distributors Associations (ASDA), bringing together concerned grocers, restaurants, processors, distributors, business councils, and other consuming groups to form the CITAC/ASDA Shrimp Task Force. The goal of the Shrimp Task Force is to assure that the U.S. government considers all the facts in the case fairly and objectively, with a full understanding of the ramifications to all American interests of any decision.


© 2004 CITAC Shrimp Task Force