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Jul 6, 3:53 PM EDTU.S. Proposes Tariffs on Shrimp Imports By LEIGH STROPEAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration on Tuesday proposed tariffson shrimp imports from China and Vietnam, finding that companies therewere dumping frozen and canned warm-water shrimp products into theUnited States at artificially low prices.U.S. seafood distributors and retailers said Americans will face highershrimp prices at restaurants and in grocery stores if the duties, whichtake effect later this week, are kept.But shrimpers and processors disputed the claims, arguing that thosecompanies' huge profits could absorb any small increase without passingcosts on to consumers.Tuesday's preliminary decision by the Commerce Department was anotherslap at China on the issue of trade this election year. Last month, thedepartment proposed new tariffs on wooden bedroom furniture from Chinathat it said was being dumped into the United States. Vietnam was hitwith tariffs on its catfish last year, prompting complaints of U.S.protectionism.The proposed tariffs on Chinese exporters of frozen and cannedwarm-water shrimp and prawn range from about 8 percent to 113 percent.Vietnam exporters face duties ranging from about 12 percent to 93percent. Those numbers could change as the department continuesinvestigating."I think the message here is clear, that we'll enforce our trade laws,"said James Jochum, assistant commerce secretary for importadministration.U.S. shrimpers and processors, struggling from rock-bottom prices since2001, filed the antidumping petition in December, seeking duties onshrimp from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador and India. Thosecountries account for about 75 percent of total U.S. imports of frozenand canned warm-water shrimp, Jochum said.China and Vietnam were considered separately because they are not freemarket-based economies. China exported 169 million pounds of shrimpworth $419 million to the United States in 2003, while Vietnam exportedalmost 125 million pounds worth about $588 million, the department said.A decision on the other countries is expected later this month."These rulings confirm what the industry is painfully aware of," saidEddie Gordon, president of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, a grouprepresenting warm-water wild shrimp fisheries in eight states: NorthCarolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi,Louisiana and Texas.The initial decision is "a critical step on the road to recovery fortens of thousands of fishermen, farmers and processors devastated by themassive volume of dumped Chinese and Vietnamese shrimp," Gordon said.The group claims the value of the U.S. harvest dropped by more than halfbetween 2000 and 2002, from $1.25 billion to $560 million, because ofdumping.But food distributors and retailers say shrimp consumption in the UnitedStates will drop and prices will rise as a result of the duties.The price of shrimp "is clearly going to rise and it's going to risedramatically if these taxes are left in place," said Wally Stevens,president and chief operating officer of seafood distributor SladeGorton Co., and chairman of an industry task force opposing the tariffs.The Commerce Department excluded breaded, fresh, dried and cold-watershrimp and prawns, and those found in prepared meals.The Bush administration is facing political pressure to show that it istaking action to deal with America's soaring trade deficits and the losssince mid-2000 of nearly 3 million U.S. manufacturing jobs. The UnitedStates recorded a $124 billion trade deficit with China last year - thelargest imbalance ever with a single country.The U.S. International Trade Commission unanimously ruled in Februarythat the imports were a factor in depressing shrimp prices, a necessaryfinding for an antidumping petition to be successful.The commission will make a final determination next January on whetherU.S. industry is being harmed by the imports. The Commerce Departmentthen will set final dumping penalties.
 

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So, we get to pay more for shrimp, so that our snapper populations will never recover.
Talk about fubar'd public policy. That's just about as good as having 150 boats get 51% of the TAC for red snapper.
 

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Mont said:
So, we get to pay more for shrimp, so that our snapper populations will never recover.
Talk about fubar'd public policy. That's just about as good as having 150 boats get 51% of the TAC for red snapper.
Ya know mont. There are other ways to put less of a demand for shrimp and take the pressure off of the snapper. Try not eating shrimp.

As much as I would love to have the snapper rebound and see less shrimpers. I would rather make china tow the line.
 

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I am quite a bit more versed in inshore shrimping issues, and had an interesting conversation with a guy getting out of that business last week.
In one year, he trawled 20,000 pounds of shrimp, that he sold for $1.35 to $2 or so per pound. Each pound cost him .95 to produce and that was when diesel was less that a dollar a gallon. So, to make less than $20,000 in a year, he killed upwards of 60,000 pounds of baby fish, crabs, and everything else that turns up in a trawl. That was just one boat, but that same story is repeated thousands of times up and down the coast. I am sure that the story is pretty much the same for the offshore shrimper.

The bottom line is that shrimping is going the same way of the buffalo hunter, and that the entire industry is moving to a farming system, vs a free range system that they have always had. Taxing imports isn't going to help them, it's only going to delay the inevitable end of a dead industry. Less that 20% of the shrimp consumed in the US is caught in US waters, and very likely, this latest move will actually end up hurting other industries without providing any real benefit to us.
 

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I won't argue with your buffalo hunter analogy. That is exactly what needs to happen.

But at the same time, foreign countries artificially driving the price down hurts the domestic shrimp farming. If we are to have a future of shrimp farming here in the U.S. you cannot allow China to drive them out of business.

http://www.usmsfp.org/farm-websites/texas.htm

As for the bay and gulf shrimpers they should be driven out of business by other means.
 

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Mont, you are totally right there. It is a shame to see the government get involved. They create more problems than good.


We are seeing the exact same thing in imported plastics right now. The domestic mfg. claim that the Chinese are dumping (disputable). The fact is that they want to get their profit margins up and the competition will not allow them to do so. The government levies an 80% tarrif on imported plastics and, with less competition, the domestic companies raise their prices accordingly, screwing the consumer. We will see the same thing in the shrimping industry.

The bottom line is that the domestic shrimpers will be able to raise their profit margins. The consumer is the loser here. And, of course, the fisherman. I usually favor the Republican party, but ****, Bush is trying my patience.
 

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manintheboat said:
Mont, you are totally right there. It is a shame to see the government get involved. They create more problems than good.

We are seeing the exact same thing in imported plastics right now. The domestic mfg. claim that the Chinese are dumping (disputable). The fact is that they want to get their profit margins up and the competition will not allow them to do so. The government levies an 80% tarrif on imported plastics and, with less competition, the domestic companies raise their prices accordingly, screwing the consumer. We will see the same thing in the shrimping industry.

The bottom line is that the domestic shrimpers will be able to raise their profit margins. The consumer is the loser here. And, of course, the fisherman. I usually favor the Republican party, but ****, Bush is trying my patience.
Ok, I understand your logic completly now. Let free trade reign supreme regardless.

Well you better kiss your job goodbye. Because the Chinese can do it cheaper. Are you happy now standing in the soup line?
 

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Nice. We will all be in the soup line.

I really think that you are over-reacting here, diss. I do agree that we need to be tough on the people in the pacific rim, especially when it comes to the unreasonable barriers that they place on our products. There is a lot of work to do.

This is a wake up call for our American corporations. They should be doing what it takes to be a player on the world scene. They should take the world competetion as an impetus to run their companies better and become more competitive. Government handouts (and believe me, 80% tariffs on your competitors is a handout) make comapanies, and people for that matter, lazy and takes away any real need to excel. In the long run, it is not good for the country, but I can see the short term gain.

But this is a broad stroke statement. Specifically, in the matter of the shrimp industry, I really do not like it. Get ready for higher shrimp prices. On top of that, we might see less shrimpers willing to get out of the industry. Any way you slice it, this stinks for commercial fishermen.
 

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manintheboat said:
Nice. We will all be in the soup line.
Maybe..

manintheboat said:
I really think that you are over-reacting here, diss.
It was sarcasm.

manintheboat said:
I do agree that we need to be tough on the people in the pacific rim, especially when it comes to the unreasonable barriers that they place on our products. There is a lot of work to do.
I agree.

manintheboat said:
This is a wake up call for our American corporations. They should be doing what it takes to be a player on the world scene. They should take the world competetion as an impetus to run their companies better and become more competitive.
Unfortunately we can't compete with their wage structure. We can only compete in quality and that's getting harder. So American corporations are doing what they have been trained to do. And that is make their stock price go up by making profits. This is more and more being achieved by outsourcing the products to be built by cheap labor in foreign countries.

manintheboat said:
Government handouts (and believe me, 80% tariffs on your competitors is a handout) make comapanies, and people for that matter, lazy and takes away any real need to excel. In the long run, it is not good for the country, but I can see the short term gain.
No comment. I know nothing of the plastics business and the tariffs associated with it.

manintheboat said:
But this is a broad stroke statement. Specifically, in the matter of the shrimp industry, I really do not like it. Get ready for higher shrimp prices. On top of that, we might see less shrimpers willing to get out of the industry. Any way you slice it, this stinks for commercial fishermen.
So what if the price of shrimp goes up. Like I said, the biggest way for you as a individual to make a impact is to not buy the product. I will also add that commercial fishing/shrimping/harvesting of the publics resources should be outlawed. End of story.
 

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Love this line: "Government handouts (and believe me, 80% tariffs on your competitors is a handout) make comapanies, and people for that matter, lazy and takes away any real need to excel. In the long run, it is not good for the country..."

Amen. So few people seem to understand that a tarriff is merely a comsuption tax and domestic producer subsidy. If more people could grasp this concept, it would dramitically change our economy for the better, in my estimation.

Of course, there is always the gloom and doom crowd who are still struggling with the lessons of the 1930's.
 

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IMHO tarriffs and subsidies should only be used to prevent industries essential to national security or preserving the economy from going under or heading overseas. Unfortunately, due to politics, our government uses subsidies and tarriffs to ensure profitability and to buy votes. The shrimping industry is hardly essential to national security, but commercial fishing carries political clout that is very disproportionate to its size in our economy or it's contribution to the nation. The farm industry abuses subsidy programs through their political clout also, but at least you can make the argument that they are "essential". If commercial fishing disappeared all together, people might miss eating seafood, but the country's economy or security would not be threatened.
 

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The problem is not "harvesting" our resources, it's overharvesting our resources and lack of control/conservation. It all gets down to money and jobs for this issue with foreign countries.

As has been said, the wage structure in the US is one of the biggest overheads that US corporations have. Foreign countries are doing it much cheaper like China and India. 10 or 15 years ago, when our steel industry was withering or almost gone and people were losing jobs to computers, economists said that the industry in the US was shifting to more of a service based business. Well, we have now entered another cycle in the last couple years, even the service business is going overseas. India is rapidly becoming the customer service end of companies in the US.

Everytime I place a call to support for my Direcway Satellite internet service, someone in India answers. If this trend of service jobs going overseas continues, I predict that the standard of living of middle class America is going to decline significantly. I'm guessing that in 20 years, things will look a lot worse then they do now in terms of jobs. Every subdivision my son has bought a house in here has been built by Mexicans. Nothing against them at all, its just another example.

I agree with raising tariffs on imports, it's the only way to protect livlihoods in this country. People are still going to buy whatever commodity it is, or eat it, they will just pay more for it. At least maybe they will have a job so they can afford to buy it. The only way the steel business in this country survived was thru tariffs on imports. The same goes for corn, wheat and everything else.
 

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Ernest said:
Love this line: "Government handouts (and believe me, 80% tariffs on your competitors is a handout) make comapanies, and people for that matter, lazy and takes away any real need to excel. In the long run, it is not good for the country..."

Amen. So few people seem to understand that a tarriff is merely a comsuption tax and domestic producer subsidy. If more people could grasp this concept, it would dramitically change our economy for the better, in my estimation.

Of course, there is always the gloom and doom crowd who are still struggling with the lessons of the 1930's.
Ernest,
We agree on something.
 

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Greg, I think you have it right.

And, If you guys dont think Shrimping has some effect on the economy, you should drive by Sabine Pass. All there is here are shrimpboats and shrimping companies. There would be a lot of jobs lost, and a lot of restraunts with less to serve. I know most of you would like to see the industry go under, but I think they are making an honest living and deserve to work just like the rest of us. Im probably going to make enemys on this one, but I think the right thing has been done with the Tarriffs. This dont mean that we aren't trading with them anymore, it means that we are charging them a tax to do it. They are still going to sell to us, trust me, they need us, we eat a lot of seafood. More buying from the U.S means more economic growth. Anyway this would have went, The Bush administration would have had people against them. You cant please everyone all of the time. He hasn't tried my patience yet, thats for sure.
 

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Price of Shrimp

Frozen shrimp from South America is less than $1/pound DELIVERED in Houston. Good shrimp - 25-30ct. No subsidy/no tarriff/growers making good money.

Why don't we give our domestic shrimp a well earned break and enjoy these foreign shrimp while they last.....

steve
 

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Sabine Staker - With tariffs, they are charging the US consumer a tax. No "tax" is paid by the foreign producers. The only "tax" paid is by the US consumer. Thats the problem. We are supporting/providing jobs in the US by taxing US consumers.

The day someone figures out how we can tax our own people into prosperity, it will revolutionize economic theory and thought. Unfortunately, and notwithstanding the bravo sierra of press conferences and political speeches, that day has not arrived.
 

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The day someone figures out how we can tax our own people into prosperity, it will revolutionize economic theory and thought.

excellent quote!!!!

Look, if everything was to stay the same without tariffs, the domestic shrimping industry would survive. Of course a good portion would be weeded out, but there will ALWAYS be a demand for gulf shrimp. Exactly how much demand would be the question though.

The sky is not falling.

The problem is that commercial fishermen have a good degree of political clout and they are not too keen on international competition. Welcome to election year.
 

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Ernest, maybe we could look at this another way. I used to ride motorcycles and remember when the gov't starting taxing for any foreign motorcycle over 700cc. Just another example of using tax/tariff to force people to buy American because the price of the foreign product is as much or more then the American product. The gov't taxed the motorcycles to help Harley Davidson and other American large bike manufacturers.

The same thing happened to wheat in the mid 90's, Canada was dumping wheat so it was taxed higher. Tariffs on imports have been used for decades to control prices and protect American manufacturers.

I think the gov't should also consider taxing foreign tuna. Heck, the europeans won't play ball at all with us to conserve the bluefin species and it's been proved that they migrate across the Atlantic.

Like I said earlier, I think in the end, American standard of living will go down because the job losses to overseas have become too much to bear. Last I heard, 3 million jobs have been lost since 2000. I also think a lot of people take it too lightly that jobs are going overseas because it hasn't effected them, YET! I'm also willing to bet that the effect of the growing China economy is just beginning and things will get much crazier over the next 10 years. So if we aren't servicing much, or manufacturing much, what will we be doing? I will be retired in 10 years hopefully, I fear for today's and tomorrow's work forces.

Sorry I rambled on this but the criticality of the US Gov't controlling imports cannot be overstated and if tariffs do it, so be it.
 

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People I think the key word is "DUMPING" which has a definate meaning in regards to steel, shrimp and other products.
If goods are being sold in our country at a lower rate than in the country of production that is "DUMPING" and is the only time punative tarrifs may be imposed.
How ever any such tax makes no sense as the end user is the one who pays it. If the government wanted to do something then it would ban the importation of said product.
 
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