US trade barriers will not only pose risks to aquatic products from Vietnam but also from other ASEAN nations, told a recent roundtable on Vietnam-US agricultural cooperation in Washington DC.
Vietnamese experts briefed US business representatives about trade and investment opportunities in Vietnam’s agro-forestry- fishery sector especially prospects for aquaculture.
US businesses agreed that Vietnam has great potential for attracting foreign investment as the agricultural sector has made up over 20% of GDP and its export turnover is expected to reach US$30 billion by 2015.
However, US trade barriers (unreasonable tariffs such as anti-dumping and anti-subsidy taxes) are one of the biggest hindrances for import-export activities between the two nations. The biggest risk for Vietnam’s agricultural and seafood exports is the US Department of Agriculture supervision program on catfish. If the program is applied, Vietnamese tra and basa exports will be suspended for a long time to meet the US’ new requirements.
Vice President of the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), Robert DeHann said that the supervision program aims to create trade barriers to protect several small seafood enterprises.
Robert Dehann expressed concern that if the program is carried out in the next years, it will create an immediate ban on some imported aquatic products from certain nations, including Vietnam.
He asked the US Government to abandon the program, adding that Vietnam also requested the authorised agencies in the US to do alike.