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Benefiting Vietnam farmers and U.S. consumers   2010-03-18 - VietNamNet/SGT

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has lowered anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnam's tra catfish fillets and frozen shrimp, proving that local processors are not dumping their products on the American market. Meanwhile, the nation has brought a case against a U.S.-imposed anti-dumping tax on frozen shrimp imports from Vietnam to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Nguyen Huu Dung, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), says there are signs that cooperation would prevail against technical barriers to trade. The Daily spoke with Dung about the issue. Excerpts:

Local enterprises have enjoyed lower tax rates following DOC's administrative reviews. Can you explain this?

After suffering anti-dumping duties on frozen shrimp, tra and basa fish for several years, they have overcome the barrier by proving that they are not dumping the products. DOC has decided to apply zero anti-dumping tariffs on more Vietnamese seafood exporters. It's understandable that the U.S. has set up barriers to imports to protect domestic producers. Local seafood processors were shocked at first by the U.S. anti-dumping measure but they have not found that this is not insurmountable. With the barrier removed, American companies might turn to local firms for cooperation.

Are there any signs of cooperation between seafood companies from the two nations?

I don't like referring to the American firms that filed the case against Vietnamese exporters as rivals, but the other side. They searched for ways to keep Vietnamese products from entering the U.S. market and tariffs were imposed to protect their production. Now, that method is no longer effective. Meanwhile, Vietnamese companies, except for some wrongdoers, want to run a decent business to benefit both Vietnamese farmers and American consumers. The U.S. now wants to change its face. It cannot profit from the anti-dumping tariffs. There are signs of cooperation. Without the tariffs, the U.S. will create larger benefits for fish farms, fishing boats, distributors, consumers and the national market. For instance, American distributors sell Vietnamese products for importers worldwide. Local products are being displayed at a seafood festival in Boston as well.

How about the case brought to the WTO?

VASEP suggested filling a complaint in 2008 but the Government just did it early this year after much consideration. VASEP complained DOC had used an anti-dumping calculation method known as 'zeroing' Negotiators from the U.S. will arrive in Vietnam after the filing of the case.

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