The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) says it will go to court to demand that the US Department of Commerce (DOC) change the decision to choose Indonesia as the sole benchmark country to calculate the anti-dumping rate on Vietnam’s tra fish.

Lao dong (Labour) newspaper quoted VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe as saying in a March 17 interview that the DOC’s decision is extremely unfair, which affects not only Vietnam’s seafood export to the US market but also harms US consumers as they would have to buy seafood products at much higher prices.

“VASEP is very dismayed at the DOC’s sudden replacement of the reference country and we also oppose the anti-dumping tax levels the department has imposed on frozen tra fish fillets imported from Vietnam ,” he said.

According to Hoe, the DOC is yet to publish its decision on the Federal Register so the decision will not take effect immediately. During the pending time, Vietnamese tra fish exporters and their lawyers will collect and analyse data for the lawsuit, which will be submitted to the US Federal court at a suitable time.

He affirmed that the association will focus on urging the DOC not to change the benchmark country in calculating anti-dumping rate on Vietnam ’s tra products.

Hoe noted that over the past consecutive 8 years, the DOC has used Bangladesh as the sole reference country, which shares many similarities with Vietnam in breeding conditions and input costs.

In previous administrative reviews, the DOC even objected to choosing Indonesia as this nation has neither adequate pricing and financial data nor comparable economic conditions with Vietnam , he added.

Furthermore, Indonesia is actually an importer of frozen tra fillets and didn’t export tra fish to the world market.

According to Hoe, VASEP and domestic businesses will continue taking necessary measures to protect the tra industry through legal activities and ask the DOC to correct its decision in accordance with US law as well as WTO agreements.

Following the DOC’s latest decision, Vietnamese tra exporters will have to pay much higher duties from at least 0.19 USD to 0.77-3.87 USD per kilo.

Vinh Hoan Co, which had the highest export turnover to the US and used to enjoy a zero percent tax rate, will be subject to a new rate of 0.19 USD per kilo.-VNA