America’s Catfish Farmers Harmed by Unfair Dumping of Vietnamese Fish, U.S. Finds

September 25, 2013 –The U.S. Department of Commerce has determined that fish producers in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have been unfairly selling the catfish-like species pangasius (basa, tra and swai) in the United States at prices below true market value. This “dumping” of fish, often sold in restaurants as catfish, has seriously harmed the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Industry. Americans eat more than 70 percent of catfish they consume in restaurants. The decision to levy a fair anti-dumping duty on Vietnamese pangasius will give some relief to America’s catfish farmers who have been harmed by years of unfairly priced and low quality foreign imports. Such imports are often tainted with drugs and chemicals banned for use in food within the United States. Alarmingly, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found there is a lack of federal inspections of imported seafood products. ”This decision is a step in the right direction, but the Commerce Department must continue to enforce our trade laws in future decisions,” said Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “Now it’s time for the administration to take responsible actions on an inspection program that will ensure the quality of fish imports, particularly for imports marketed as catfish.”

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