January 27, 2020
News Release 20-006
Inv. No(s). 332-575
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC to Investigate Extent of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Seafood Imports and Impact on U.S. Commercial Fishermen

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input for an investigation of the extent to which seafood products obtained from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing are imported into the United States and the potential economic effects on U.S. fishermen of competition with such imports.  IUU seafood includes products obtained in contravention of fisheries management regulations or in violation of labor laws.

The investigation, Seafood Obtained via Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing: U.S. Imports and Economic Impact on U.S. Commercial Fisheries, was requested by the House Committee on Ways and Means in a letter received on December 19, 2019.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will:

  • provide a review of the existing data and literature on the prevalence of IUU products in the U.S. import market, and an overview of international mechanisms for monitoring and enforcement to address IUU fishing;

  • provide a description of the size and structure of the U.S. commercial fishing industry;

  • provide a description of the major global producers of IUU products, including but not limited to China, and country practices related to IUU production and exports;

  • provide an analysis of the extent to which IUU product is imported into the United States, as well as major U.S. import sources and the global supply chains of such products; and

  • provide a quantitative analysis of the economic impact of IUU imports on U.S. commercial fishermen and U.S. commercial fishing production, trade, and prices.

The USITC expects to deliver the report to the Committee by December 21, 2020.

The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation at 9:30 a.m. on May 12, 2020. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on April 21, 2020, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20436.

The USITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary to the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practicable date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on June 26, 2020. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of this investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the USITC’s notice of investigation, dated January 27, 2020, which can be obtained from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-2000.

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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