Vietnam: US’ 25% anti-dumping rate on shrimp must be a mistake

09/03/2018 12:00 - 238 total view

Add Vietnamese shrimp to the list of products for which the Donald Trump administration is taking a tough approach to trade this month, though the US' latest action might be a mistake.

Well, at least that’s what the Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) thinks.

The US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA) on Thursday released the preliminary results of its review of an antidumping order on frozen warmwater shrimp from Vietnam, tentatively setting the rate at a “very high and unreasonable” 25.39%, according to a press release from VASEP. The Vietnamese shrimp exporters say they have never previously received an anti-dumping margin higher than a single-digit percentage rate.

The rate would be applied to shipments from the Sao Ta Seafoods Joint Stock Company (FIMEX VN), but because FIMEX is the only mandatory respondent in the proceeding, the rate would also apply to any companies deemed by Commerce to be independent of the Vietnamese government, VASEP explained.

The case dates back to early 2005 when ITA set antidumping rates on six countries, including Vietnam. In a recent administrative review of those rates, FIMEX VN notes that it received a rate of 0%, the group said. 

“We are shocked by this result”, said Ho Quoc Luc, FIMEX VN’s general director.  “We expected a rate of less than 2%, consistent with the result we received in the 9th review.”

The rate is not final until September, and VASEP believes it will be able to show Commerce that it erred in its calculations at a future meeting. A discussion to verify the rate was scheduled to take place at the department’s offices in January but has been postponed until July due to the US government shutdown.

“Indeed, careful analysis of the Commerce Department dumping margin program shows that they applied a conversion factor from headless to head-on shrimp incorrectly,” the press release said.  “If the conversion had been applied correctly, the margin would be only 1.19%.”
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