At a shrimp processing factory in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang. (Photo: VNA)

Washington (VNA) – The International Trade Commission (ITC) of the United States has recently voted to extend antidumping duties on frozen shrimp imports from Vietnam, China, India and Thailand for another five years.

“The US International Trade Commission today determined that revoking the existing antidumping duty orders on imports of frozen warm-water shrimp from China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonable foreseeable time”, the commission said in a statement on May 2.

It determined that imports of shrimp from Brazil will no longer be subject to antidumping duties.

The statement was controversial in the industry in the US.

Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance John Williams said the ITC decision is “good news for our industry”, adding that if the four Asian shrimp exporters focus on fair trade, the duties would be lifted.

He noted that Brazil was likely exempted from the five-year duty extension because the country “has not exported shrimp to the US for a very long time”.

Domestic shrimp producers in the US looked forward to five additional years of relief from unfair foreign trade practices, stated David Veal, Executive Director of the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA).

Meanwhile, US major retailers, such as Performance Food Group, Costo and Publix Super Markets who sell about 100,000 tonnes of shrimp every year, said the duties should be lifted.

At hearings in Washington DC in mid-March, members of ASPA and other groups urged the ITC to keep the duties in place as they believed if the orders were revoked the US market would be flooded with foreign shrimp like in the early 2000s.

US Senators Diane Feinstein, Patty Murray, Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren and Representative Rosa DeLauro wrote a letter to the US Government Accountability Office to urge the agency to investigate “the food safety and any remaining gaps in the oversight of imported seafood that are potentially dangerous to the public health of American citizens”.-VNA