In a misguided attempt to save the struggling catfish industry, the Department of Agriculture is considering inspecting all pangasius fish imports from Vietnam. This seems fairly harmless, but the “inspection” would turn into a literal ban for at least three years. The dead cattle industry would also have beef with this, because Vietnam could very well decide to ‘inspect’ US beef for retaliati-‘safety reasons.’ Comparative loss? US beef exports to Vietnam are worth $131 million; the catfish industry just got a $50 million bailout. Worldwide, the cattle industry is obviously worth more, with its $175 billion towering over the $1.4 billion of the catfish.
Aside from the sheer ridiculousness of giving up money for protectionism, there are two other good reasons to keep importing fish and exporting beef.
1. It pisses PETA off.
2. Pangasius fish are adorable!