September 10, 2013
The VietnamAssociation of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) disagreed on the decision by the US Department of Commerce (DOC) to charge duties on certain frozen pangasiusfillets imported from Vietnam.
The period covering the ninth administrative review (POR9) extends from August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012.
During its preliminary decision, the DOC set an antidumping duty of US$0.42/kilogramme (kg) and US$2.15/kg for two mandatory respondents. Other respondents will have to pay US$0.99/kg.
Vietnamese pangasius firms and VASEP had already filed a lawsuit contesting the DOC's measure over POR8 review to the US Court of International Trade (US CIT), where it was asked it reconsidered the DOC's calculations and requiring the DOC to recalculate the levy. The lawsuit has been accepted and the US Customs has been asked by the US CIT to stop imposing the POR8 antidumping duty to the penalised companies until the US Court comes to a final decision.
According to VASEP, by unfairly selecting Indonesia as the main surrogate country for its calculations of Vietnamese pangasius imports, an unreasonably high level of antidumping duty on fish exporters has been set. Indonesia is a biased choice because it only imports Vietnamese frozen pangasius filets and it had previously been rejected in DOC's former reviews as it lacked pricing data and basic financial data.
It was stated in the DOC's decision of 2012 that Indonesia was not comparable to Vietnam in economic terms for more than half the POR's criteria. When the antidumping duty POR9 was calculated, Indonesia was not among the six countries chosen to be the surrogate one when calculating it.
The Association considers that Bangladesh is economically comparable to Vietnam because it farms pangasius hypopthalmus in water ponds for commercial fish products much in the same way Vietnam does. Producers from both countries have the same costs for production and revenue. It is, therefore, not logical to choose Indonesia as the main surrogate country since the data it provides has no reliable basis to be used in the ninth review and in the final decision of POR8.
The DOC's transparency regarding the decision has been challenged by Vietnamese enterprises as it is clearly affected by political lobby Catfish Farmers of America (CFA) with the additional risk it might hurt bilateral ties between the two countries. And they warn that it carries the additional risk of possible harm to the bilateral relations between the two countries.