Vietnamese shrimp companies will have to pay the highest tariffs ever for exporting shrimp to the US market. The imposition of tariffs on Vietnamese shrimp is unfair and runs counter to the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership.
According to the US Department of Commerce (DOC)’s final decision on the anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese shrimp for the 8th period of review from February 1, 2012, to January 31, 2013, 32 Vietnamese shrimp exporters will be subject to the highest level of tariffs. The duties will be 4.98% for Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, 9.75% for Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company STAPIMEX and 6.37% for 30 other companies. The general duties for Vietnamese companies will be 25.76%. According to regulations, Vietnamese enterprises have 30 days to file a petition against the DOC’s decision at the US Court of International Trade.
Unfair, groundless decision
In March, 2014, when the preliminary outcome of the 8th period of review on anti-dumping duties on shrimp imports to the US market was announced, Vietnamese enterprises opposed the US Department of Commerce’s decision. In fact, Vietnamese enterprises don’t receive any subsidy from the government for the production of exported shrimp. Vietnamese shrimp are cheaper than American shrimp because Vietnamese enterprises enjoy more favourable natural conditions, so their production costs are lower.
Nguyen Huu Dung is Vice President of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers: “Vietnam and the US have different technologies for shrimp production. American shrimp are caught at sea while Vietnamese shrimp are raised in fresh water. These are different means of shrimp production and these products don’t compete directly. So, the decision is a ploy by American producers who want to be protected by US law”.
Causing losses to American consumers
Imported Vietnamese shrimp and American shrimp in the US market are completely different products. The productivity and quality of raised shrimps is stable and the delivery time can be ensured. For consumers, ensuring the stable supply and quality of products is very important, but American shrimp producers cannot meet this requirement.
The export market has become increasingly diversified making the US less attractive for shrimp exporters. This will result in higher prices causing losses to American consumers.
When the DOC made this decision, American shrimp producers were enjoying favourable conditions. So the decision will not cause any losses for the American shrimp industry, although American consumers could benefit from cheaper imported Vietnamese shrimp.
Going against trade liberalization
Vietnam’s shrimp industry generates about 3.5 million jobs and incomes equal to about 3% of GDP. The DOC’s imposition of anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese shrimp will cause great losses to Vietnamese shrimp companies and impact the lives of more than 600,000 workers. The decision is unfair, going against trade liberalization and undercutting improving trade relations between Vietnam and the US.
Vietnam and the US have established a comprehensive partnership, so trade between the two countries and the imposition of anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese shrimp need to be reviewed in an objective and fair manner to ensure the legitimate interests of Vietnamese shrimp farmers, producers, and exporters as well as American consumers, importers and distributors.