GAA supports anti-dumping defense

The Global Aquaculture Alliance has come down firmly against a threatened anti-dumping petition by United States shrimp fishermen.
October 10, 2003

The Global Aquaculture Alliance has come down firmly against a threatened anti-dumping petition by United States shrimp fishermen. While it is sympathetic to the plight of U.S. shrimp fishermen, it does not support unfair trade within either the fisheries or aquaculture sectors, GAA says.

Last year, GAA funded a white paper which indicated domestic fishermen supply only 12% of the U.S. demand. It also funded an economic analysis which showed that 140,000 U.S. jobs in processing, marketing, and distribution depend on imported shrimp.
Following a member survey and considerable internal discussion, the GAA Board of Directors says it has resolved to support the American Seafood Distributors Association in its work with the domestic industry to develop niche marketing and government-funded solutions to the challenges faced by the U.S. domestic shrimp industry.
GAA states that it further resolves to "support ASDA in vigorously defending against the antidumping petition threatened by the U.S. domestic shrimp industry, as well as the selection of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as the lead law firm to direct ASDA's efforts and help other countries develop appropriate legal defenses".

Last month Wally Stevens, president of the Washington D.C.-based American Seafood Distributors Association (ASDA), described the decision by the Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA) to pursue an antidumping case as both disappointing and discouraging, "especially in light of the more positive alternative that ASDA has put forward for buyers, processors, and fishermen to work together to address common concerns regarding the domestic shrimp industry".

"As an organization that represents more than 150,000 U.S. workers and companies that buy, sell, and distribute more than 80 percent of the seafood sold in this country, ASDA is in the unique position of bringing together many of the segments of the highly fragmented U.S. seafood industry. Over the past 10 months, we have attempted to bring all sides of the shrimp issue to the table in order to address the challenges facing the domestic industry in a global seafood market—and to take action that would make a difference", Stevens said.

A new marketing alliance between ASDA and the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) has been established to address both the immediate needs of the shrimp industry to find markets for domestic product and the longer-term issues of quality and market-building for domestic shrimp.

The anti-dumping petition, seen as yet another act of American protectionism, has created outrage in the shrimp-exporting countries of Southeast Asia and South Asia and has spurred many individual companies and associations to action.

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