US catfish producers are lobbying the government to pass an anti-dumping taxation act against basa and tra fish imported from Vietnam.

The US Catfish Farms Association (CFA) has already succeeded in urging President George W Bush to introduce legislation that prevents imported the Vietnamese breeds of catfish being labelled as catfish.

In Vietnam, the trade and foreign affairs ministries and catfish exporters have protested against the move, which they say is a form of protectionism, and contrary to the Vietnam-US trade pact, international trade practice and the trade liberalisation policy of the US.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Export Processors (VASEP) meanwhile held talks last Saturday to discuss how to cope with the potential of such taxation.

Lawyer Edmun W. Sim, from the US law firm White & Case, told the VASEP that it will advise Vietnamese companies on how to avoid US anti-dumping measures. He added that Vietnam has a strong case against the “catfish” case.