Gulf shrimp industry wins round in fight

A federal trade agency has sided with Gulf of Mexico shrimp industry officials who are seeking an investigation into whether seven countries are unfairly subsidizing shrimp sold in the U.S.

The U.S. International Trade Commission determined Thursday that there is a “reasonable indication” that the domestic shrimp industry has been injured by subsidized imports from China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries, which claims to represent processors and other industry interests in Louisiana and half a dozen other states, filed petitions Dec. 28 seeking tariffs or other trade actions against the nations.

The U.S. Commerce Department launched an investigation Jan. 18. The Trade Commission’s 5-1 preliminary ruling Thursday allows the Commerce Department to expand that investigation, which is expected to lead to a preliminary decision by March 25.

A final decision by the Trade Commission is expected late this year. Commerce has not set a time frame for its final decision. Approval from both agencies is required before any trade actions are enacted.

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