Sessions takes stand on catfish

Published 3:19pm Friday, March 22, 2013

With 5,800 jobs dependent on the catfish industry in Alabama and more than $158 million contributing to the state economy, we’re glad our U.S. Senate representative, Jeff Sessions (R-AL), raised his voice and prompted change.

Last week the Commerce Department made the right decision in protecting Alabama’s catfish industry by enforcing fair value pricing on Vietnamese imports of frozen fish filets and non-market economies. We hope this decision will lessen the burden of catfish farmers across the state and even the playing field when it comes to pricing.

We agree with U.S. Sen. Sessions when he said domestic production and fair value pricing are essential aspects of a sound economy.

Dallas County is heavily dependent on the catfish industry and without fair pricing on foreign imports; our local catfish farmers suffer greatly.

The amount of U.S. catfish sold has decreased dramatically in recent years— by more than 35 percent — and we hope through this new price setting that those numbers change for the better.

Also, we hope that the Senate keeps an eye on other crucial Alabama commodities such as cotton and cattle, which are prevalent in Dallas County.

Agriculture is one of the key pillars that sustain our state — and we need our U.S. representatives to remember that when searching for ways to improve both our state and local economy.

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