Hyde-Smith Led Senate Effort Challenging Draft Anti-Dumping Order that Would Have Given Unprecedented Blanket Relief to All Communist-Controlled Vietnam Exporters

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today claimed victory for U.S. farm-raised catfish producers and processors with an announcement by the U.S. Commerce Department to reverse a preliminary decision that would have greatly reduced antidumping duties on imported catfish from companies controlled by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The Commerce Department action follows concerns raised by Hyde-Smith, fellow Senators, and stakeholders that the U.S. farm-raised catfish industry would be devastated if it didn’t reverse the preliminary decision pertaining to the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on U.S imports of Certain Frozen Fish Fillets from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

“The Commerce Department actually heeded our warnings and the rescission of this review is a clear victory for the U.S. catfish industry, which is so important to Mississippi and other rural states.  It’s also a victory for American consumers, who will not be put at risk from tainted imported catfish,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“Rescinding the review effectively reinstates the $2.39/kg antidumping duty rate on shipments of catfish from government-controlled companies in Vietnam.  With this decision, shipments from such companies, whose labor practices egregiously violate human rights and produce catfish using dangerous chemicals and drugs that severely compromise public health, will continue to be deterred,” the Senator said.

A Federal Register notice published on Thursday indicated that the administration is abandoning the preliminary decision which would have reduced the non-market economy (NME) anti-dumping duty from $2.39/kg to $0.14/kg for all producers controlled by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

In January, Hyde-Smith led a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo that requested her agency abandon its preliminary decision regarding catfish imports from Vietnam, arguing that it would also set precedent for the approximately 250 non-market economy proceedings involving communist governments.  Hyde-Smith was joined by U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), and Katie Britt (R-Ala.) in writing Raimondo.