(VOVworld) – The US Department of Commerce (DOC) on Wednesday morning confirmed anti-subsidy duties on frozen shrimp imported from Vietnam. The decision is unfair and will seriously impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese farmers and shrimp producers.
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In a final decision, the US Department of Commerce has imposed anti-subsidy duties of 7.88% on the Minh Qui Fishery Company and 1.15% on the Nha Trang Fishery Company. The general rate for other Vietnamese company is 4.52%. The rates are lower than the initial duties set in the DOC’s May decision. The new decision has doubled taxation including anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs, which will greatly impact 600,000 farmers and shrimp raisers.
The rate is irrational because it derives from a lawsuit filed by the Coalition of the Gulf Shrimp Industry (COGSI) in January which accused the shrimp industries of several countries including Vietnam of receiving subsidies from their governments. COGSI represents the US shrimp sector, which can meet only 10% of the US shrimp demand. 90% of the shrimp consumed on the US is imported.
Some American shrimp importers have said that COGSI’s complaints that farm-raised shrimp imported from Vietnam and other countries reduces their competitiveness is illogical and has little scientific ground. Farm-raised shrimp and wild shrimp are two different products. They should not and cannot compete with each other and cannot be the subjects of a lawsuit.
Vietnamese functional agencies have repeatedly called the lawsuit unfair and harmful to Vietnamese enterprises and hundreds of thousands of shrimp raisers. Le Van Quang, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Minh Phu Fishery Company, one of the Vietnamese companies suffered from the US DOC’s anti-dumping tariff, said the decision was unfair. Vietnamese shrimp exporters are operating under a market mechanism and have not received any form of subsidy from the government. Pham Anh Tuan, Deputy Director General of the Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the Vietnamese government has not subsidized the shrimp industry. The raisers have to pay for verything including food, shrimp breeds, and labor.
According to US law, the DOC’s final decision will be reviewed by the US International Trade Commission. If the Commission reaches the same conclusion, the Department will officially impose the anti-subsidy duties on October 3.
Although the anti-subsidy tariff hasn’t been issued, it will seriously impact the business of Vietnamese exporters, the lives of hundreds of thousand of farmers, American consumers, and bilateral trade.