Vietnam Catfish

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Vietnam has angrily rejected charges by the U.S. catfish industry that its producers are illegally undercutting their prices.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman says claims that Vietnamese enterprises sell catfish to the U.S. market at dumping prices are "slanderous" and "baseless."

American catfish producers claim Vietnam has unfairly captured the U.S. market by selling at below fair market prices.

The less expensive Vietnamese fish, which closely resemble American catfish, have captured as much as 20 percent of the frozen catfish fillet market.

The U.S. catfish industry, centered in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana, launched a huge lobbying offensive to protect its $590 million in annual revenues.

Last year, Congress barred importers, restaurants and grocery stores from labeling the Vietnamese fish under the name "catfish." Catfish producers are now lobbying for an antidumping "tax" to be levied on the Vietnamese products.