Mar 15 2011
Cochran, Wicker & Palazzo Pushed to Protect Gulf Coast Shrimpers from Unfair Imports
Contact: Chris Gallegos
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, along with Congressman Steven Palazzo, today praised U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) approval of a five-year extension of antidumping duties that have served to protect the U.S. shrimp industry from unfair import practices.
Cochran, Wicker and Palazzo were among the lawmakers who earlier this year urged the ITC to continue antidumping duties on frozen warmwater shrimp imports from Brazil, China, India, Thailand and Vietnam. The ITC voted 5-1 on Tuesday to extend the current duties until 2016 on all five countries.
The Mississippi lawmakers, in communications with the ITC, argued that the antidumping duties initially imposed in 2005 continue to be needed to protect the Gulf Coast shrimp industry. The Gulf Coast shrimp industry has been beset by a series of disasters, including hurricanes, the economic recession and the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“The ITC correctly recognized that the antidumping duty order is needed to give the shrimp industry in the Gulf of Mexico a chance to compete, survive and prosper,” Cochran said. “Shrimping is not an easy business, but it is a time-honored way of life on the Gulf Coast. I am pleased with the extension of the antidumping order and the protection it offers the shrimp industry against excessive underpriced imports.”
“The decision to continue antidumping orders on foreign shrimp is a significant victory not only for the Mississippi shrimping industry but also for American consumers,” said Wicker. “After the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, a serious recession, and the Gulf oil spill, American shrimpers and seafood processors deserve a chance to preserve their way of life.”
“Our shrimp industry is an example of the resilience and determination expressed by all Mississippians in the wake of the BP oil spill. Today’s decision means that our shrimpers can continue to recover unimpeded, resulting in more jobs and a stronger economy in Mississippi,” Palazzo said.
Cochran and Wicker appeared at an ITC hearing on Feb. 1 to testify that the duties have been effective in fostering price stability and industry investment. Palazzo was one of four members of the House of Representatives who wrote the ITC in late January to express their strong support for the continuation of the antidumping duty orders.
Shrimp production in Mississippi totaled about 10 million pounds in 2009, a 26 percent increase when compared to 7.8 million pounds in 2005. The 2009 season was valued at almost $13 million, and the industry had an estimated $115 million economic impact on the state.
Additional information about the ITC and its shrimp ruling can be found here: http://www.usitc.gov/trade_remedy/731_ad_701_cvd/investigations/2010/shrimp/reviewphase.htm