April 3, 2018
Vietnam asks US to rescind new pangasius export tariff
While the US has maintained that a new tariff imposed on Vietnamese pangasius exports would not significantly disrupt trade from Vietnam to the US, the Southeast Asian country insisted that the tariff was a protectionist move and "not objective". Vietnam has asked for its revocation, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
The US Department of Commerce imposed a higher tariff for Vietnamese pangasius exports following the completion of an anti-dumping investigation on March 15. The new tariff stands at $7.74 per kilogramme on products from the two companies that were the subject of the investigation, while other exporters face a fee of $3.87/kg, still the highest tax the US has ever imposed on Vietnamese pangasius.
US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink said that the tariffs were based on a routine, regular review, adding that Vietnam still had full access to the US market, including pangasius-related products.
The US has been the biggest importer of Vietnamese pangasius for the past several years, but strict regulations on quality and food safety, particularly the catfish inspection programme launched in August 2017 to check the fish from the farm through to processing and shipment, have challenged Vietnamese exporters.
Vietnam earned $1.78 billion from pangasius exports last year, up 4.3% from 2016, but exports of the fish to the US dropped 11% to $387 million, VASEP said.