The people's voice of reason

Biden Administration changes direction on catfish rule after Tuberville and catfish farmers object

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it is reversing course on a preliminary decision that would have reduced the non-market economy (NME) anti-dumping duty from $2.39 per kilogram to just 14 cents per kilogram for all producers controlled by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) had informed the administration that this 94.1% reduction in the tariff would have severe economic impact on U.S. catfish farmers, including those in Alabama. Alabama is second to only Mississippi in the numbers of catfish produced.

A notice on the Federal Register notice indicated that the Administration is abandoning the preliminary decision. This announcement follows Senator Tuberville's letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo citing the harm this would cause for Alabama's catfish industry.

"This announcement is great news for Alabama's catfish farmers," said Sen. Tuberville. "Alabama is the number two state in American catfish production, raising one-third of the world's catfish. As a former catfish restaurant owner, I know firsthand how critical catfish are to our economy. As Alabama's voice on the Senate AG Committee, I'll always stand up for Alabama's catfish farmers against the Biden administration's overreach."

On January 17, 2024, Senator Tuberville sent a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo urging the Biden administration to not reverse the designation of Vietnam as a NME, as has been the case for 20 years during both Republican and Democratic administration.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Alabama is home to approximately 66 farm-raised catfish farms, predominantly across the Black Belt Region. Alabama catfish farms encompass approximately 15,000 acres of surface water area. The catfish industry employs over 2,400 Alabamians and contributes nearly $92 million in economic value to our state.

Last year, Senator Tuberville highlighted the importance of the catfish industry to Alabama by helping lead a Senate resolution to designate August 2023 as National Catfish Month. The designation recognizes the importance of the catfish industry to the United States' economy and honors our farmers working in catfish production, feed manufacturing, and processing.

Tommy Tuberville was elected to the United States Senate in 2020. He is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans' Affairs, and HELP Committees.

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