The New York Times has another editorial dealing with trade restrictions and protectionism between the developed countries and the developing world.
In this editorial, the focus is on catfish raised in Vietnam. It is an object lesson in disingenuousness, unenlightened self-interest, fear-mongering and self-serving hypocrisy:
Last year, with the aid of Trent Lott, then the Senate majority leader, the American catfish farmers managed to persuade Congress to overturn science. An amendment, improbably attached to an appropriations bill, declared that out of 2,000 catfish types, only the American-born family — named Ictaluridae — could be called "catfish." So the Vietnamese could market their fish in America only by using the Vietnamese terms "basa" and "tra."
That was only the first step in a bipartisan assault. Congressman Marion Berry, an Arkansas Democrat, joined in a stupendously tactless disinformation campaign against the Vietnamese, suggesting that their fish were not good enough for American diners because they came from a place contaminated by so much Agent Orange — sprayed over the countryside by American forces during the Vietnam War. Catfish Farmers of America, for its part, ran advertisements warning of a "slippery catfish wannabe," saying such fish were "probably not even sporting real whiskers" and "float around in Third World rivers nibbling on who knows what."
Not satisfied with its labeling triumph — an old trade-war trick perfected by the Europeans — the American group initiated an antidumping case against Vietnamese catfish. And for the purposes of this proceeding, Congressional taxonomy notwithstanding, the fish in question were once again regarded as catfish, not basa or tra. [my emphasis]
As they say, read the whole thing.