Background

The International Trade Commission has launched an investigation of the extent to which seafood products obtained from illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing are imported into the U.S. and the potential economic effects on U.S. fishermen of competition with such imports.

A letter from the House Ways and Means Committee requesting this investigation states that IUU fishing accounts for up to 31 percent of the global catch of fish. With imports accounting for 90 percent of U.S. seafood consumption, the letter states, IUU fishing creates unfair competition for U.S. fishermen and poses other challenges. In addition, China, which is the U.S.’ largest seafood trade partner, has been ranked worst among 152 coastal countries based on the prevalence of IUU fishing and the country’s response to it.

The ITC will submit to Ways and Means by Dec. 21 a report that provides information on the following.

- the prevalence of IUU products in the U.S. import market

- international mechanisms for monitoring and enforcement to address IUU fishing

- the size and structure of the U.S. commercial fishing industry

- the major global producers of IUU products and country practices related to IUU production and exports

- the extent to which IUU product is imported into the U.S., major U.S. import sources, and the global supply chains of such products

The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with this investigation May 12 and requests to appear at this hearing are due by April 21. In addition, written submissions are due no later than June 26.

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