Commerce Dept. Will Enforce Antidumping on Vietnamese Catfish

WASHINGTON-(AgWatch)--The U.S. Commerce Department issued its final results of a catfish industry review, showing Vietnam catfish will face fair antidumping duties when imported into the domestic U.S. market.

The U.S. catfish industry, along with Southern legislators, welcomed the move following years of the Commerce Department assigning a near-zero antidumping duty on Vietnamese Catfish.

This practice, according to U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (R.-Ark.) has led to unfair competition, and a flood of Vietnamese imports.

"For too long, the Arkansas catfish industry has faced unfair competition from non-market economies, such as Vietnam," Crawford said. "This is a win for the U.S. Catfish industry and the Delta region."

Since 2008, Vietnamese imports of catfish fillets have tripled, and have taken nearly 80 percent of the domestic market. The Department decided to switch from a Bangladeshi surrogate value to Indonesian price index for calculation of antidumping duties.

"I am confident that the Commerce Department's decision to fairly enforce our trade laws is a great first step towards a U.S. catfish industry recovery that will create jobs and grow the Delta economy."

Over the past decade, Arkansas has seen more than half of catfish farming water acres disappear, partly because of competition with Vietnam - among other non-market economies. The U.S. catfish industry largely exists in the Mississippi Delta region.