Are Catfish Inspections an Administrative Trade Barrier to Imported Fish? Public Deposited

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  • The Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79) amended legislation regarding the U.S. catfish inspection program to include “all fish of the order Siluriformes,” encompassing imported species: basa, tra, and pangasius. Furthermore, the amendment finalized the transition of catfish and catfish-like product inspection responsibilities to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), leaving all other fish species under FDA inspection. The shift in responsibility produces tighter food safety mandates for domestically produced and imported catfish, which some argue acts as an administrative trade barrier protecting the U.S. catfish industry. Since domestic producers were likely subject to similar standards under FDA inspection, the cost of compliance is likely higher for international fish farmers who mostly operate in low-income countries. We analyze the potential trade distortions of the regulation change on domestic catfish production and imported products. Furthermore, we analyze the impact of the new regulation on the market share of imported fish products relative to domestic production. The reformed legislation will likely decrease market competition from imported catfish-like products. Additionally, the competition from tilapia imports might increase since tilapia inspection remains under FDA regulation and there is evidence that consumers view catfish and tilapia as substitutes. Using data from the USDA Economic Research Service and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, we estimate the potential effects of the new regulation under various assumptions regarding the cost of compliance. The impact of the new regulation depends on assumptions pertaining to the differences in compliance costs across industries and markets (domestic versus foreign).
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  • Davidson, Kelly A. and Jaclyn D. Kropp. 2015. Are Catfish Inspections an Administrative Trade Barrier to Imported Fish? In: Proceedings of the Eighth Biennial Forum of the North American Association of Fisheries Economists, May 20-22, 2015, Ketchikan, Alaska: Economic Sustainability, Fishing Communities and Working Waterfronts. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver and Melissa Errend. North American Association of Fisheries Economists, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2015.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Susan Gilmont(susan.gilmont@orst.edu) on 2015-10-22T16:09:19Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Davidson NAAFE 2015.pdf: 812442 bytes, checksum: c221ca8f48cd43dc20b399e740ecc1ba (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2015-10-22T16:09:19Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Davidson NAAFE 2015.pdf: 812442 bytes, checksum: c221ca8f48cd43dc20b399e740ecc1ba (MD5) Previous issue date: 2015-05
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Melissa Errend (melissa.errend@gmail.com) on 2015-10-21T16:08:18Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Davidson NAAFE 2015.pdf: 812442 bytes, checksum: c221ca8f48cd43dc20b399e740ecc1ba (MD5)

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