October 29, 2020
The US and Vietnam sign US$500 million agreement to form the US-Vietnam Pork Consortium
The Vietnam Trade Alliance, a grouping of buyers and producers, signed a memorandum of understanding called the "US-Vietnam Pork Consortium" with Smithfield Foods and other US pork producers to purchase up to US$500 million worth of American pork over three years, Reuters reported.
According to a statement, the Vietnam Trade Alliance will purchase chilled and frozen pork from the US, which will be processed and distributed to the Vietnam market.
Vietnam's US pork imports increased to US$35 million between January to August this year, compared to US$4 million in 2015.
The statement said the agreement will boost US agricultural exports to Vietnam, address the trade imbalance between both countries, and support US farmers and processing companies.
The signing was completed at virtual Indo-Pacific Business Forum on October 28.
Three-quarters of total meat consumption in Vietnam is attributed to pork, with domestic consumption is mostly from farm-raised swine.
In February, an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak hit Vietnam, forcing the country to cull 20% of its swine herd. In May, Vietnam said it will import 20,000 breeding swine from neighbouring Thailand.
Vietnam has been looking at importing more goods from the US after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Vietnamese products.
Vietnam government customs data showed its trade surplus with the US expanded to US$44.3 billion between January to September this year, compared to US$33.96 billion in the same period last year.