US’s antidumping duty ruling lacks legal basis: VASEP hinh anh 1Tra fish processing (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - The US’s recent ruling to impose unprecedentedly high import duties on frozen Tra fish fillets from Vietnam shows a level of unfairness and is not in line with the usual antidumping law provisions, said Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Truong Dinh Hoe.

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has released final results of the 13th administrative review of anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese Tra fish (pangasius) exporters to the US (POR13) for the period from August 1, 2015 through July 31, 2016.

Under the decision, GODACO Seafood JSC, which was selected as the mandatory respondent during the POR13, is subject to a tax rate of 3.87 USD per kilogramme.

The rate, which is 5.61 times higher than 0.60 USD of POR12 and the highest ever, will also serve as the blanket duty for Tra fish exports from other Vietnamese producers to the US.

GODACO has provided the DOC with all necessary documents and timely responded its questions, but the DOC did not fully consider the provided information and applied adverse factors available (AFA) that led to unprecedentedly high tax rates, said the firm’s Director General Nguyen Van Dao.

There is a lack of a legal basis when the DOC used the AFA to determine the preliminary duty margin, he added.

VASEP and Vietnamese exporters opposed this unfair decision and consider taking necessary legal steps to soon file a complaint to the US Court of International Trade (CIT).

“We request the DOC to thoroughly review data and records provided by Vietnamese enterprises as a basis for calculating accurate and reasonable tax rates for those participating in the POR13,” VASEP Secretary General Truong Dinh Hoe said.

With the rate of 3.87 USD per kilogramme, Vietnamese exporters will have to sell at very high prices of about 7.8-8 USD per kilogramme to earn profit, said Nguyen Van Kich, Director General of Cafatex Seafood JSC.

That prices are not competitive in the American market as similar domestic products are only fetched at over 4 USD per kilogramme, so many exporters will have to stop shipments to US and look for other markets overseas, he added.

GODACO Director General Nguyen Van Dao said his company plans to stop exporting to the US and shift its focus on more favourable markets such as the EU and China.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said it asked the US side to review and adjust the way to determine the tax level to the Vietnamese companies concerned on the basis of objectivity and compliance with the regulations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and fairness for all sides involved.

The ministry will continue working with other ministries and sectors related, VASEP and domestic exporters of Tra fish to discuss all settlement measures towards ensuring the legitimate rights and interests of Vietnamese businesses.

In the meantime, the US is the second largest importer of Vietnam’s Tra fish. In 2017, Vietnam’s export of Tra fish to the market experienced a drop of 11 percent from 2016.

In 2017, the country’s export of Tra fish, however, enjoyed a year-on-year growth rate of 4.3 percent to hit 1.78 billion USD, contributing 21.45 percent of the fisheries sector’s export earnings.-VNA