Ecuador has launched a dispute at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) alleging that United States anti-dumping duties imposed on its exports of ‘certain frozen warmwater shrimp’ were erected in breach of the WTO’s anti-dumping agreement.

Calling for formal consultations (the first stage of disputes proceedings), Ecuador alleged US trade officials had erred in anti-dumping calculations through “zeroing negative anti-dumping margins”. In effect, when examining trades in a substance, consignments sold higher than cost price are ignored when assessing whether dumping has occurred – only cargoes sold below cost price are examined. Ecuador said this led to assumed “artificial and inflated margins of dumping where none existed”, sparking unfair duties.