Cochran supporting Commerce’s decision on imported fish

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is welcoming a U.S. Department of Commerce antidumping decision that he says will give farm-raised catfish producers in Mississippi and the nation “some relief from unfair, low-priced foreign imports.”

Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez late last week informed Cochran that the U.S. Department of Commerce had completed its latest antidumping duty administrative review on frozen fish fillet imports from Vietnam and found that the U.S. catfish industry has been harmed by unfairly-priced imports.

The Commerce Department will now take action to enforce an antidumping order against frozen fish fillets from Vietnam, according to a news release from Cochran’s office.

“This is very good news for Mississippi’s catfish farms and those who work on them. They have been harmed for years by unfair trade practices.

On March 4, Cochran met with Sánchez to discuss the antidumping duty administrative review. The meeting was the latest action by the senator in recent years to try to ensure fair trade treatment for the U.S. farm-raised catfish industry that has experienced steep declines since 2008 due to unfair foreign imports.

U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics that indicate the market share maintained by U.S. catfish producers has dropped from 80 percent to 20 percent since an antidumping case against Vietnam was filed.

Cochran, who sponsored the 2008 Farm Bill requirement on imported catfish inspections, has been critical of the federal government failure to implement a more stringent inspection process for imported fish products.

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