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Catfish Exporters Let Off US Hook

VIET NAM - Twenty-seven companies that export catfish to the US have been removed from the list of companies that have been subject to administrative review by request of the America's Association of Catfish Farmers(CFA).

Administrative reviews have been undertaken by the US Department of Commerce to review allegations that Vietnamese exporters had dumped tra and basa catfish onto the US market during certain periods.

CFA’s lawyers last week sent a letter to the Department of Commerce along with the CFA petition seeking the withdrawal of 27 exporters from the list of companies subject to the fourth administrative review.

The fourth administrative review will look at lots of Viet Nam-origin catfish shipped to the US from August 1, 2006, to July 31, 2007.

The anti-dumping conflict over Viet Nam tra and basa catfish has dragged on for about five years. Domestic producers have attempted to diversify overseas markets to avoid negative impacts of the dumping action.

So far this year, catfish exports to all markets worldwide have earned nearly US$1 billion, according to industry statistics. To boost export markets, exporters have made strides to satisfy strict requirements on food safety and hygiene.

Major tra and basa catfish markets now include the EU, accounting for about half of all exports, followed by Russia, ASEAN member states, the US, Ukraine and Mexico.

Ellen Hardy

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