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Old 07-07-2004, 10:44 AM   #1
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Bush helps Shrimpers

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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Old 07-07-2004, 10:50 AM   #2
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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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Old 07-07-2004, 10:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mont
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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Old 07-07-2004, 11:26 AM   #4
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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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Old 07-07-2004, 11:47 AM   #5
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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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Old 07-07-2004, 11:48 AM   #6
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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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Old 07-07-2004, 11:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by manintheboat
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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Old 07-07-2004, 03:03 PM   #8
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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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Old 07-07-2004, 03:29 PM   #9
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Strike that last line. I mean recreational fisherman.
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Old 07-07-2004, 04:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manintheboat
Nice. We will all be in the soup line.
Maybe..

Quote:
Originally Posted by manintheboat
I really think that you are over-reacting here, diss.
It was sarcasm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manintheboat
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manintheboat
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manintheboat
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manintheboat
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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