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Commerce finds subsidized shrimp imports hurting local shrimpers

GULF OF MEXICO — U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is supportive of the U.S. Department of Commerce taking the next steps to ensure that the shrimping industry on the Gulf Coast is protected from unfairly subsidized shrimp imports.

Earlier this week, the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration announced preliminary affirmative countervailing duty (CVD) determinations on frozen warmwater shrimp imports, indicating that government subsidies from China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam pose an economic threat to the U.S. shrimp industry on the Gulf Coast.

“I welcome the Commerce Department’s findings and hope that this investigation will lead to action that will allow the Gulf Coast shrimp industry to compete on a level playing field,” said Cochran, the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

In February, Cochran encouraged the International Trade Administration to act on the determination from the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) that the U.S. shrimp industry is being harmed by imported frozen warmwater shrimp. The USITC found that U.S. shrimpers are being “materially injured” by imports from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Ecuador.  With today’s announcement, the Commerce Department also announced preliminary negative CVD determinations with regard to imports from Ecuador and Indonesia.

The Biloxi-based Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries is the petitioner in this trade case that will now continue with further investigations of imports from China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.  The Department of Commerce is scheduled to make its final determinations in August.

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