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US Anti-Dumping Duties on Shrimp Imports – Irrational Protectionism?



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Code :ITF0015

Year :
2004

Industry : Business Law, Governance and Ethics

Region : :USA

Teaching Note:Available

Structured Assignment :Available

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Introduction: On July 30th 2004, the US government imposed preliminary anti-dumping (AD) duties3 on shrimp imports fromfour third world countries – Ecuador, India, Thailand and Brazil. These four countrieswere subjected to additional duties ranging from6.08%to 9.35%for Ecuador, 3.56% to 27.49% for India, 5.56% to 10.25% for Thailand and upto 67.80 % for Brazil. According to the US Department of Commerce, these countries had dumped,4 canned and frozen shrimps and prawns at prices lower than those prevalent in the USmarket. Citing the same reasons, earlier, on July 6th 2004, the US Commerce Department had slapped duties of 12%to 93%onVietnam’s and 7.67%to 112.8%on China’s shrimp exports (Exhibit I). According to the US International Trade, the agency determining US anti-dumping cases, shrimp imports accounted for nearly 90%of the total one billion pounds of shrimp consumed in the US in 2003. Imports from the six countries accounted for approximately 75% of the total shrimp imports (Exhibit II). TheUS shrimp producers had demanded for tariffs of up to 349%on shrimps fromBrazil, 264%fromChina, 166%fromEcuador, 110%fromIndia, 93% fromVietnamand 58%fromThailand.5 According to Southern Shrimp Alliance, a six-state industry coalition (Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina), the decision was considered as a critical step on the road to recovery for thousands of fishermen, who were devastated by the massive volume of dumped shrimps, although the tariffs were not as high as requested by them. However, economists view the dumping laws and Department of Commerce’s enforcement of them, as a thinly disguised form of protectionism that is antithetical to America’s perceived support to free trade...

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