BILOXI, Miss., Aug. 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today the Commerce Department (DOC) announced its final decisions on the magnitude of foreign government subsidies to their shrimp industries. DOC decided that shrimp imported from the five nations benefitted from subsidy levels from 5 to 55 percent. Malaysia was found to be the most egregious offender with subsidy levels of up to 55 percent. However, China with 18 percent, Ecuador with up to 14 percent, India with up to 11 percent and Vietnam with up to 8 percent subsidy levels were all found to be problematic for the low margin shrimp industry.
And also today, Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industry (COGSI) members and elected leaders from the Gulf testified at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) hearing held to assist its analysis of past and potential injury to the industry. On September 19th, the ITC will make a final determination on the injury that subsidized imports are causing in a vote announced to the public.
"We appreciate these robust numbers from the Commerce Department. Clearly, our industry faces a real threat from the billions of dollars of illegal subsidies from these five nations," said, David Veal, Executive Director of COGSI.
"We are grateful for the strong support of U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives as well as state and local leaders at the ITC. They assisted us with testimony and letters that made a difference by showing the importance of shrimp to the economic and cultural well-being of the Gulf region," said Edward T. Hayes, Gulf Counsel for COGSI.
"We want to provide a special note of appreciation to those who testified in person in Washington, DC, Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and State Representative Joe Harrison of Louisiana, along with State Senator Sean Tindell and State Representative Jeff Guice of Mississippi. It was impressive that they traveled to Washington, DC to assist the shrimp community in their states and across the Gulf," added Veal.
"Step by step we are making progress in obtaining relief for the American shrimp industry. I am pleased with the results today and look forward to the ITC vote in September," said Elizabeth Drake, Partner at Stewart and Stewart and lead attorney in the case.
Two nations, Indonesia and Thailand, did not meet the subsidy threshold that would warrant duties, according to the Department of Commerce.
About the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries: The Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries was formed to support these petitions and to work for the long-term survival of the entire Gulf shrimp industry. The domestic producers supporting the petitions account for the vast majority of domestic U.S. production, and they represent the industry across the coastal states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas. For a fact sheet with more information on the cases, go to www.gulfshrimpcoalition.com.
Media Contacts: David Veal, Executive Director (228) 806-9600 Edward Hayes, Legal Counsel (504) 717-9787