Ministry urges US to study Vietnamese tra fish market hinh anh 1Tra fish processing in Bien Dong Company (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will urge the US to promptly conduct a field study of Vietnam’s tra fish market, said an official.

The move followed the US’s unexpected imposition of anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese tra fish, which is 5.6 times higher than the previous level, according to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan.

On March 20, 2018, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) announced the final results of the 13th administrative review (POR 13) of anti-dumping duties on frozen pangasius fillets from Vietnam between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016, slapping unprecedentedly high rates of 3.87-7.74 USD per kg.

The Vietnamese Directorate of Fisheries said the US’s decision has caused adverse impacts on the sector, as reflected through the decrease in Vietnam’s tra fish exports to the US from 22.3 percent in 2016 to 19 percent in 2017.

It may affect the brand name, image and prestige of Vietnamese tra fish globally, and prompt other markets to set up trade barriers to the products, the agency said.

Besides, the levy may lead to changes in production and business strategies of local firms which will target less strict markets after they failed to meet the US’s requirements.

The domestic exporters will lower standards for product quality and food safety, the agency added.

Deputy Minister Tuan said his ministry is working together with the DOC in implementing regulations of the investigation into pangasius to be conducted by the US’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is likely to occur in May 2018.

The DOC’s decision is unfair and irrational to Vietnamese businesses, he said, adding that it lacks a legal basis and goes against normal legal regulations on anti-dumping.

The unprecedented high rate reflects the DOC’s groundless, subjective imposition, Tuan said.

The MARD will increase bilateral and multilateral meetings to discuss two-way trade between Vietnam and the US and to show the efforts of the Vietnamese Government and the business community in complying with regulations and principles relating to the code of conduct in international trade to defend interests of the sides concerned harmoniously, according to the official.

Besides, the ministry will urge the US side to make a field trip to Vietnam to recognise equivalent standards. The field trip is expected to be held on April 30 or no later than September.

If the consensus on equivalent technologies and standards cannot be reached on the third week of September, Vietnam may bring the case to the World Trade Organisation and use the decision-making right of economic arbitrator, Tuan said.-VNA