The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) on Tuesday decided to continue with the existing anti-dumping duty on shrimp imports from India. The punitive tariffs, which erode the competitive strength of the Indian seafood exporters, would be effective for another five years. US is the largest market for Indian shrimps and accounts for more than a third of the total seafood exports from the country. The action against India, China, Thailand and Vietnam comes under the five-year (sunset) review process required by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.
The Commission further revoked the existing anti-dumping duty order on imports of shrimp from Brazil. India and seafood exporters were expecting the duties to be revoked in the five- year sunset review. The US government imposed an anti-dumping duty on Indian shrimps in 2004 saying that it was hurting US shrimp farmers. The Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries (COGSI), an association of shrimp farmers, has been fighting aquaculture shrimp imports into US claiming that artificially low-priced imported shrimp from seven countries including India have suppressed and depressed domestic prices, eroded domestic sales, destroyed US jobs and eliminated the operating margins of domestic producers.
The effect of the anti-dumping duty from 2004 was dramatic on Indian exports. Indian shrimp exporting companies to US fell to less than 75 from 228 at the time of imposition of the punitive duties. Currently, the punitive tariff on Indian shrimp exports stands at an average rate of 1.07% as per the 11th administrative reviews. US had raised the anti-dumping duty to 4.89% in 10th annual review of dumping duties, compared to 2.96% in ninth review, which covered February 1, 2013, through January 31, 2014.
In the last few years, Indian seafood exports are seen recouping its losses suffered due to the punitive tariff imposed by US in 2004 with the help of vannamei shrimp production, which is cheaper than the traditional black tiger. The overall export of shrimp from India during 2015-16 was to the tune of 3,73,866 tonne worth $3,096.68 million. US was the largest market in FY 16 with 1,34,144 tonne for frozen shrimp, followed by the EU with 81,849 tonne.