WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) released the following statement today after fair pricing rules were upheld for Vietnamese catfish by declaring Indonesia as a surrogate pricing country. This decision follows a letter Senator Sessions sent to the Commerce Department last month urging fair pricing on imports from non-market economies:
“I am pleased that the Commerce Department’s administrative review has upheld their previous finding that Indonesia is an appropriate surrogate country for pricing Vietnamese catfish. The previous solution of Bangladesh was clearly not appropriate. Before this surrogacy was established, Vietnam was able to skirt the rules of fair trade and underprice its goods resulting in enormous harm to the U.S. catfish industry. Much more needs to be done to ensure our workers in Alabama can compete on a level playing field, but this is a move in the right direction.”
Over 5,800 jobs in Alabama are directly related to the catfish industry. This industry generates more than $158 million for the Alabama economy, and Alabama catfish producers currently produce over 100 million pounds of catfish per year, complying everyday with U.S. health, environmental, and consumer protection standards.
In March 2014, Sen. Sessions spearheaded a letter to the Commerce Department Secretary urging her to uphold the last Administrative review and maintain Indonesia as the surrogate country for Vietnam in determining fair price for catfish imports, please click here.
In March 2013, Sessions led the effort which resulted in a Commerce Department decision to use Indonesia as a surrogate country for Vietnam to best calculate the price per pound of frozen fish fillets. This decision subjected Vietnamese imports to appropriate and reasonable standards to ensure domestic catfish producers would not be victims of unfair pricing. For the full release, please click here.