The U.S. Department of Commerce today published its final results of the reconducted 2008-09 administrative review of the antidumping duty order on shrimp from Vietnam for the exporter Grobest & I-Mei Industrial (Vietnam) Co., Ltd. (“Grobest”). Commerce in 2010 assigned Grobest a 3.92% rate based on the examination of other companies. Grobest successfully challenged Commerce’s refusal to individually examine its sales data, with the Court of International Trade in 2012 ordering the exporter-specific reconduct.
Yet Grobest thereafter refused to participate in the review and insisted that Commerce terminate the proceeding. This demand was opposed by the Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee (“AHSTAC”), an association of domestic producers of warmwater shrimp represented by PKR, who argued that the CIT ruling and other applicable legal requirements necessitated the review. Commerce agreed with AHSTAC and, in response to the exporter’s non-cooperation, today applies statutory “adverse facts available” to assign Grobest the 25.76% margin. Grobest’s refusal to participate occurred after the submission of evidence by AHSTAC suggesting that Vietnamese and Chinese shrimp was transshipped through Cambodia to evade duties by Grobest’s U.S. affiliate, Ocean Duke Corp. This evidence led Commerce to find that Ocean Duke’s affiliate Hilltop International committed material misrepresentation by failing to disclose its Cambodian affiliate. In result, Commerce assigned Hilltop a 112.81% rate in no less than four reviews of the AD order on shrimp from China and reversed a determination in a 2007 changed circumstances review.
Also today, Commerce noticed its intent to reopen the five-year “sunset” review of the AD order on shrimp from Vietnam that concluded in 2010. Commerce describes AHSTAC’s evidence “suggesting the existence of a multi-year transnational scheme to avoid payment of duties on Vietnamese shrimp” and its “concern” that the record examined in the sunset may have been tainted by fraud.” Comments on the reopened proceeding are due next month.