Wicker, Hyde-Smith Praise Final Antidumping Determination on Imported Vietnamese Catfish Fillets

Commerce Dept. Responds to Concerns Raised by Hyde-Smith, Wicker & Other Lawmakers

May 2, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., today praised a final determination on antidumping duties to be imposed on Vietnamese catfish exporters, a move that will help ensure U.S. catfish producers can compete on a more level playing field.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) this week issued its final determination on antidumping rates to impose on Vietnamese catfish exporters.  The ITA action follows concerns raised by Hyde-Smith, Wicker and six other Senators last fall.  In the end, the ITA found that Vietnam firms continue to violate U.S. antidumping laws and the agency imposed higher penalties on offending export companies—some penalties as high as $3.87 per kilogram on imported frozen catfish fillets.

“This is a welcome decision for American consumers and our domestic catfish producers who raise high-quality fish for America’s dinner tables,” Wicker said.  “I will continue working to ensure our nation’s trade laws are enforced and that Mississippi’s catfish farmers are not undercut by inferior and potentially dangerous foreign imports.”

“We are, at last, seeing the restoration of a level playing field for our catfish producers, who have had to fight unfair trade practices for years.  The ITA determination is good news for our producers in Mississippi and other catfish-producing states,” said Hyde-Smith.  “I greatly appreciate Commerce Secretary Ross for his attention to this matter.”

Last October, Hyde-Smith authored a letter that raised concerns regarding questionable ITA actions in assessing dumping activities by Vietnamese companies exporting frozen catfish fillets to the United States.  A preliminary ITA determination issued in September recommended only nominal penalties on these companies.  However, congressional interest in the matter prompted further investigation of dumping practices, resulting in higher penalties being assessed for violations.

 The ITA determination, combined with ongoing U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) catfish inspection requirements, are providing U.S. catfish producers with a fairer competitive market overall.  Today, only 13 Vietnamese companies meet the U.S. food safety standards required to export catfish for consumption by Americans.