The Jakarta Post
Indonesia has welcomed a preliminary finding by US investigators that clears the domestic shrimp industry of dumping allegations.
In its initial conclusion, the US Department of Commerce announced on Wednesday that Indonesia, along with Ecuador, was not proven to have given considerable subsidies to its shrimp farmers.
With this finding, Indonesian exporters will be freed from provisional anti-dumping duties that will be effective until the end of the investigative period.
Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said on Thursday that the US findings reinforced the conviction among domestic stakeholders that they did comply with fair trade practices.
'The finding is in line with our earlier belief. Now it's been verified by the objective data we've presented,' he told The Jakarta Post.
Indonesian officials as well as industry players would continue to work with the US trade authority in the next stages of the investigation, Bayu added.
The US Department of Commerce, however, will impose anti-dumping duties of up to almost 63 percent on frozen shrimp from its major suppliers ' China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam ' which delivers around 258,000 tons of the food commodity to the US, or equal to US$2.3 billion.
The department stated that frozen warmwater shrimp exporters from China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam had received government subsidies of 5.76 percent, 5.72 percent to 6.10 percent, 10.80 percent to 62.74 percent, 2.09 percent, and 5.08 percent to 7.05 percent, respectively.
If the US International Trade Commission finds that imports from the five countries are materially injuring, or threaten material injury, the Commission will issue countervailing orders on Oct 3.
In the past, the five countries were also slapped with duties of varied levels in the US.
The investigation into the case began in response to a complaint lodged late last year by the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries on behalf of US producers, which accounts for 90 percent of the country's production.
In its petition, the industries accused overseas producers of having enjoyed unfair government subsidies that allowed them sell their products at cheaper prices, which they said resulted in significant business losses throughout last year.
Separately, Thomas Darmawan, Indonesian Fisheries Product Processing and Marketing Association chairman, said the domestic industry welcomed the early US ruling.
'We hope that the final finding is positive for the Indonesian industry,' he told The Post.
Thomas added that local businesspeople would continue to provide relevant data as demanded.
The country's shrimp exports to the US represent 48.2 percent of the country's total shrimp exports.
Between January and October last year, shrimp shipments totaled $484 million, up 4.8 percent from the same period in 2011, or equal to 47.3 percent of overall exports.
Indonesia was the second-biggest shrimp exporter to the US after Thailand in 2011, according to US statistics.
The final ruling on the investigation will be released on Aug.12, while the US Trade Commission will announce the final results on Sept. 26.
Besides the shrimp dumping allegation, Indonesian businesspeople are facing several other allegations,including the accusation of subsidizing and dumping biodiesel.
The European Union on Tuesday imposed provisional anti-dumping levies ranging from 2.8 percent to 9.6 percent on a number of Indonesian biodiesel exporters as the bloc claimed it found an early indication of dumping.