US antidumping duties on Vietnamese Tra fish exporters unprecedented

09:33 | 13/04/2018 Trade

(VEN) - The Ministry of Industry and Trade has been working with relevant ministries, departments and associations to minimize the risks in the export of Tra fish due to high antidumping duties imposed by the US Department of Commerce on Vietnam’s frozen pangasius fillets. Le Trieu Dung, deputy director of the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam under the Ministry of Industry and Trade discussed the issue in an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ Phuong Lan and Dinh Dung.

us antidumping duties on vietnamese tra fish exporters unprecedented

The US Department of Commerce recently issued the final results of the 13th administrative review of antidumping duties on Vietnam’s frozen pangasius fillets. How will it affect export turnover of Vietnamese Tra fish?

In accordance with the results for the period from August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016, the US Department of Commerce imposed an unprecedented high tax rate on these products. Specifically, eight businesses were slapped with a rate of US$3.87 per kg and two companies with a rate of up to US$7.74 per kg. The rest are subject to a tax rate of US$2.39 per kg. Some of the exports were not requested for review by the petitioners and therefore will maintain their most recent margins.

The antidumping duty for the two companies at US$7.74 per kg is the highest ever. It will have negative impacts on Vietnam’s fish exports to the US.

What has the Ministry of Industry and Trade done to deal with the high antidumping duties?

Throughout the review process, Vietnamese producers made an effort to provide the US Department of Commerce with accurate information, but it decided to use adverse facts available (AFA) to determine the final tax rates. The US Department of Commerce has changed its reviewing practices in applying AFA to many Vietnamese businesses. Therefore, the Ministry of Industry and Trade asked the US to review the decision and reduce duties on Vietnam’s exporters in compliance with WTO regulations and with fairness for all parties. However, the US Department of Commerce still insists on very high tax rates.

Since receiving the final results, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has been closely working with the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and local pangasius exporters to exchange information and give the US authorities relevant feedback. The ministry will continue to study all options to ensure the legitimate rights of Vietnamese companies.

In the long run, the Ministry will build a strategy to respond to the trend of non-commercial protection by the US, in particular, and other importers in general.

What solutions will the Ministry of Industry and Trade adopt to limit the negative impacts?

Vietnam’s Tra fish industry needs to undertake restructuring, starting with planning and production to processing and consumption to meet the increasingly strict requirements of importers. In addition, the regulations, rules and commercial practices of importers must be studied carefully in order to ensure full compliance, and close coordination with importers is important to ensure legitimate business interests. Moreover, WTO rules must be scrutinized to protect business interests in case of commercial disputes.

It is also essential for businesses to diversify their markets as soon as possible in order to minimize the risks in the face of trade remedies by importing countries.

us antidumping duties on vietnamese tra fish exporters unprecedented

What are your recommendations for Vietnamese businesses?

Non-tariff trade remedies are being widely applied and are increasingly sophisticated. Therefore, businesses need to thoroughly understand the standards of importing countries and try to comply fully with these standards. In cases where the standards are over-restrictive and inconsistent with the provisions of the WTO and other relevant international organizations, businesses may express their reservations to state management agencies in order to coordinate discussions with the importing countries on easing these regulations.

Phuong Lan & Dinh Dung