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Shrimp firms win case in US court
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-06-17 15:39

Nine Chinese shrimp enterprises have won their year-long campaign against a ruling by the US Department of Commerce.

The US Court of International Trade ruled on Wednesday that the department had used unfair surrogate prices in its dumping ruling on imports of Chinese shrimps.

So said Zhang Zhibiao, secretary-general with the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products.

Zhang said the case had "set a good example for Chinese enterprises to fight for their own benefits through justice channels."

"It has also strengthened the confidence of domestic enterprises in fighting claims of dumping," he said.

In January 2005, the US commerce department said it would collect punitive duties of up to 112.8 per cent on Chinese shrimps.

As China is not regarded as a full market economy by the United States, the department used the prices of an Indian shrimp grower instead.

However, the shrimps taken as the surrogate raw material were a different species to the Chinese shrimps. Therefore, nine Chinese firms filed a complaint last March in court against the US commerce department.

"The chamber of commerce organized the firms to attend hearings in the United States appealing to the court," Zhang said.

The team, collaborating with US lawyers, told the court the US commerce department was unjustified and unfair by choosing the surrogate prices.

The court finally ruled that the US commerce department's previous ruling was unfair and said it should make a new ruling in 90 days.

The shrimp case was the largest dumping claim against Chinese farm products. China exported shrimps worth US$380 million in 2004 when the dumping charge was initiated.

It is the second time the chamber of commerce has helped domestic companies to fight a US dumping claim in a US court.

In the first case, it helped reverse US dumping charges on Chinese apple juice. In April 2000, the United States imposed anti-dumping rates ranging from 9.85 to 51.74 per cent in an anti-dumping investigation against Chinese apple juice concentrate producers.

The companies, organized by the chamber of commerce, brought the case to court and forced the US commerce department to give up.

Source:China Daily 
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