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CITAC Shrimp Task Force

December 20, 2004


George Felcyn
The PBN Company


Washington, DC — The CITAC/ASDA Shrimp Task Force today denounced the Department of Commerce’s decision to impose a food tax on shrimp, and urged the International Trade Commission (ITC) to vote against imposition of the duties next month to prevent further harm to U.S. consumers, businesses, exports, and workers who depend on reliable, year-round access to reasonably priced imported shrimp.

The DOC announced final margins on imports of shrimp for mandatory respondents from Brazil ranging from 9.69 to 67.8 percent, for mandatory respondents from Ecuador from 2.35 to 4.48 percent, for mandatory respondents from India from 5.02 to 13.42 percent, and for mandatory respondents from Thailand from 5.79 to 6.82 percent. The countrywide rate decreased from 23.66 to 10.4 percent for Brazil, decreased from 7.3 to 3.26 percent for Ecuador, decreased from 14.2 to 9.45 percent for India, and decreased from 6.39 to 6.03 percent for Thailand.

Last month, the Commerce Department announced final margins on shrimp imports from China ranging from zero to 112.81 percent, and from Vietnam ranging from 4.13 to 25.76 percent. The revised rates become effective on the day of publication in the Federal Register (i.e., December 8, 2004 for China and Vietnam and in approximately one week for the other four countries), and will remain in effect if the ITC makes an affirmative injury determination in January, but will be removed if the ITC makes a negative determination.

"During this holiday season, the Commerce Department says ‘Bah humbug!’ to American consumers who have come to enjoy eating affordable shrimp dishes in restaurants and at their dinner tables. American families need to stop being penalized and taxed by their government when a tiny industry refuses to compete or restructure," said Wally Stevens, Chairman of the Shrimp Task Force and President of the American Seafood Distributors Association.

"This new federal tax on America’s #1 seafood — a tax that, thanks to the Byrd Amendment, will go right into the pockets of the petitioners — will only harm U.S. consumers and the thousands of businesses that have come to rely on affordable, high-quality imported shrimp. Ninety percent of all shrimp consumed in the U.S. is imported. Thanks to imports, American families are consuming shrimp at record levels, a trend that now is in jeopardy thanks to the domestic industry’s preference for protectionism over sorely needed restructuring."

"We are equally disappointed with the Commerce Department’s use of fuzzy math and the WTO-illegal methodology known as zeroing," said Stevens. "Zeroing is used for one purpose — to create higher dumping margins. The bias and damaging effects of zeroing diminish the credibility of U.S. trade policy and negotiations. The WTO has twice ruled zeroing to be illegal and the U.S. has already agreed to drop its use in the Canadian softwood lumber case. I expect that the countries hit with the shrimp tax will file similar cases against the U.S. at the WTO — and win."

'The Shrimp Task Force will continue to fight the shrimp tax at the ITC," concluded Stevens. 'Domestic shrimpers cannot fish anymore shrimp out of the ocean than they currently catch. U.S. demand for high-quality shrimp is simply much greater than can be supplied by the domestic industry. Any tax imposed on imports will do nothing other than disrupt the U.S. market for shrimp and threaten the jobs of more than 200 thousand American workers who depend on shrimp imports for their livelihoods. It’s time for the domestic industry to address its structural problems instead of relying on the Commerce Department to buy them temporary protection."

Last year, Americans consumed a record 4.0 pounds of shrimp per person, up from 3.7 pounds in 2002, making shrimp the country’s preferred seafood for the second year in a row. Once considered largely a luxury for the rich, shrimp is now found at a wide range of family-style and quick-service restaurants. In a survey of the country’s top 200 chain restaurants, Food Beat Inc. found that offerings of shrimp menu items increased 47% during the last five years. Ninety percent of the shrimp consumed in the U.S. is imported.

Copies of the DOC fact sheet on the final decision:

  • December 20, 2004: Final Determinations in the Antidumping Duty Investigations on Certain Frozen and Canned Warmwater Shrimp from Brazil, Ecuador, India, and Thailand. Read
  • November 30, 2004: Final Determinations in the Antidumping Duty Investigations on Certain Frozen and Canned Warmwater Shrimp from the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Read

For more information on DOC fact sheet visit or call the Office of Public Affairs at .

For more information on the Shrimp Task Force, contact George Felcyn at or .