US farm bill hampers Vietnamese catfish


US farm bill hampers Vietnamese catfishThe US Senate on February 4 adopted a bill on farm subsidies, including a provision that is counterproductive to Vietnamese catfish exports.

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed the bill with 217 votes in favor and 210 votes against. The bill is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama imminently.Under the bill with 68 votes for and 32 votes against, US$956 billion will be spent within 5 years to support plants and crops of the US farmers. Additionally, the farm bill includes strict provision on food stamps to pork, chicken and beef imported by the US market clearly identifying the origins of the products.

Despite protest from some US congressmen, the bill which was approved by the two Houses, consists of one provision on the supervision of catfish including Vietnamese catfish.

Under this provision, the US Department of Agriculture will apply regulations on catfish to Vietnamese products exported to the US market including regulations on package and export.

This provision was added to the bill by the US Catfish Association and some US senators despite opposition from Senator John McCain, who describes the move as a trade barrier to protect the interest of US catfish raisers.



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