Scores of Vietnamese shrimp processors and exporters are working with relevant agencies, lawyers and shrimp breeders to fight back the US Department of Commerce (DOC)’s recent levy of anti-subsidy duty on frozen warm-water shrimp imported from Vietnam.

The DOC’s preliminary decision on the levy stated that Vietnam’s shrimp exports got the Government’s subsidies therefore it imposed a 5.08 percent anti-subsidy duty on products of Minh Phu company and a 7.05 percent rate on Nha Trang Seafood in particular, and a national 6.07 percent rate on other companies.

Le Van Quang, Chairman of the Minh Phu company said such duties will take a heavy toll on seafood businesses while rejecting the DOC’s allegation that the businesses were subsidised by the Government.

He said Vietnamese seafood enterprises have to stand on their own feet to secure their operations, even when seeking bank loans they must manage by themselves to get affordable interest rates.

Meanwhile, a leader of the southernmost Ca Mau province, Vietnam ’s biggest shrimp exporter, opposed the DOC’s move, saying it will pose difficulties to both businesses and farmers involved.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP), once the decision takes effect, Vietnam ’s shrimp exports will face both anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs, making it harder for exporters to survive in the US market where their products make up a big share.

The association added that the move will also adversely affect 600,000 shrimp farmers and workers across the country.

Earlier on May 31 in a press release, VASEP protested the DOC’s move, calling it unfair and asking for its reconsideration of the decision.

VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said the DOC’s decision was only based on Vietnam ’s policies to develop its fishery sector without giving any persuasive factual evidence.

The DOC is scheduled to make its final decision on the issue on August 10.

The US was once Vietnam ’s biggest shrimp importer. Due to fierce competition, it slipped to the second place last year with a total value of 480 million USD, or over 20 percent of Vietnam ’s shrimp export.

In the January – April period, the US spent 132.7 million USD on importing shrimps from Vietnam, accounting for 21.4 percent of Vietnam’s total shrimp export.-VNA