Alaska Republican Senator Dan Sullivan on Wednesday touted the closing of a loophole that was allowing Russia-origin seafood reprocessed in China to enter the US market, but made no mention of this week's decision by the US Department of Treasury to grant a last-minute extension to allow US importers more time to bring in product.

Sullivan said the ban is already starting to benefit Alaska companies, claiming East Coast importers are now calling Alaska companies to source pollock and other products impacted by the ban.

He said the importers are calling Alaska suppliers and saying, "I got to get off the Russian communist dictator fish shipped to China, do you guys have good Alaska 'freedom fish?'"

On Tuesday, the US Department of Treasury gave US importers of Russian-origin seafood three extra months to complete deliveries, a response to widespread disruptions in global shipping.

The ban was initially set to go into effect Feb. 20, but importers now have until May 31 to complete deliveries.

"I worked on this issue for almost 10 years, so unfair, and it literally took a war to start to get it fixed," he told lawmakers Wednesday.

Sullivan's office has not responded to numerous requests for comment on the ban extension.

The US government in December announced an executive order and resulting US Department of Treasury determination that revised current guidance and closed a loophole that was allowing Russian-harvested seafood reprocessed in other countries to be imported into the United States.

Sullivan and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced legislation last year that would impose a comprehensive ban on the importation of all Russian-origin seafood products into the United States. Companion legislation supported by Alaska Congresswoman Mary Peltola was introduced in the House. Sullivan also attempted to pass similar legislation in 2022 that failed to move forward.

In 2014, Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine. In response, the United States and its allies imposed a suite of sanctions, not including Russian seafood imports. Russia then enacted retaliatory sanctions, including a ban on US seafood imports.

Sullivan for years has advocated for a fix through legislative or administrative action—to meaningfully prohibit Russian seafood imports until American fishermen and processors are afforded reciprocal access to the Russian market and until Russia ends its war against Ukraine.

Last year the senator singled out US seafood restaurant Captain D's and the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) in a speech about the US seafood industry using Russian-origin seafood processed in China.