(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., welcomed today’s decision by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to continue import duties on shrimp from Thailand, China, Vietnam, India and Brazil for five more years.   The ITC, which put these duties in an anti-dumping order issued in 2005, decided by a 5-1 vote that revoking the previous order would cause material injury to domestic shrimpers.  Last month, Sen. Landrieu testified before the ITC and urged them not to revoke the previous order.

“In recent years, Gulf shrimp industry producers have proven their resolve in the face of natural and man-made disasters,” Sen. Landrieu said.  “The 2005 and 2008 hurricanes, the economic recession, and most recently, the massive Gulf oil spill, have put this industry on the brink of collapse.   I am proud to have worked with shrimpers, processors, customers and indeed a range of industries across the Gulf to help lead recovery efforts from all these crises.  Having recently expended significant energy and resources to recover from all of these events, the domestic industry is still fragile and is not in a position to confront the inevitable flood of underpriced imports from the subject countries if the orders are revoked.  I thank the Commission for its vote to continue the antidumping orders on shrimp from Brazil, China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam.  These orders have been key to the renewed viability of the domestic shrimp industry, and today’s decision will go a long way to ensuring that our region, and indeed our nation, does not lose this unique and important industry.”
“We are grateful to Senator Landrieu not just for her efforts on this critical issue, but for her continued and enthusiastic support of shrimpers in Louisiana and all over the country,” said C. David Veal, Executive Director of the American Shrimp Processors Association.  “Without her help, we would not have been able to win this critical fight to keep a level playing field in place for U.S. shrimpers.”
Under the Tariff Act of 1930, U.S. industries may petition the government for relief from imports that are sold in the United States at less than fair value ("dumped") or that benefit from subsidies provided through foreign government programs.
The ITC is responsible for determining whether a particular U.S. industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury from the imports under investigation.  If both the Department of Commerce and the ITC determine that is the case, then the Dept. of Commerce will issue an antidumping duty order to offset the dumping.
Over the past ten years, more than $600 million of duties on imported shrimp and crawfish have gone uncollected.  Earlier this month, Sen. Landrieu, Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, expressed concern to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that there are not enough personnel at Customs and Border Patrol to ensure that these duties are being collected.  Secretary Napolitano promised to review the issue and respond to the subcommittee in writing.