Monday, June 14, 2004

Commerce: WTO Panel report on Shrimp dumping allegation in US by India delayed

India exports about $1.5 billion worth of shrimp to the rest of the world. Of this, close to $425 million exports happen to USA. India's exports to USA has risen tremondously over the last four years. It was $255.93 million during 2000-01, $299.05 million during 2001-02 and $424.51 million during 2002-03 [Source: The Financial Express]. This has been the case despite a significant drop in price per kg after the 9/11 bombing.

The largest import to USA happened from Thailand at $1.1 billion in 2002. Some of the countries importing shrimp to USA are Thailand, China, Vietnam, India, Brazil and Ecuador. Meanwhile USA based shrimp farmers have formed an association called The Southern Shrimp Alliance and have moved the Department of Commerce in USA to initiate proceedings against the importing countries, on anti-dumping charges. The Southern Shrimp Alliance has claimed that their value of US-harvested shrimp was cut in half - from $1.25 billion in 2000 to $560 million in 2002 - with a 40% drop in employment at Southern shrimp plants. Meanwhile, it says imports from the six targeted countries increased from 466 million pounds in 2000 to 780 million pounds in 2003. [Source: The CalTrade Report]

US Dept. of Commerce initiated preliminary hearing starting January 2004, but its report is still not out. Indian exporters, in the meanwhile, have stopped exporting to USA as they claim they will be unable to pay the 80-110% duty that may be imposed on them. The Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) has hired a US based law firm (Garvey Schubert Barer) to fight the case. The report from WTO on this case is delayed causing considerable damage to the shrimp farmers and exporters in India. See the detailed story on The Financial Express.

A detailed chronological presentation leading up to the anti-dumping proceedings is available at Shrimp News. However this stops at around January 2004.

Related link: Marine Products Export Development Authority, India

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