Cooperation with the US is better than facing anti-dumping duties

Published: 21/03/2010 05:00

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LookAtVietnam – First Vietnam’s tra fish, and now frozen shrimp have enjoyed a reduction in anti-dumping duties after the US administration’s review.

Nguyen Huu Dung of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP)

Dung, a VASEP deputy chairman, told Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon (Saigon Times) that cooperation is always better than confrontation.

Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon: It seems that after every administration review, the US side lowers the anti-dumping duties further on Vietnam’s seafood products. Is this a trend?

Nguyen Huu Dung: At first, Vietnamese seafood companies were shocked by the antidumpting duties levied on frozen shrimp and tra and basa filets. However, they have survived and overcome the barrier of anti-dumping duties.

After the US administration review, more and more enterprises no longer face anti-dumping duties. It shows that they have learned how to meet the requirements of importing countries, and that the Vietnamese enterprises are maturing.

And, no one knows, once the anti-dumping barrier is not useful any more, the importing countries will shift toward cooperation with us.

TBKTSG: Are there signs of cooperation between the US catfish and shrimp farmers and Vietnamese shrimp and fish processors?

Dung: I don’t consider the US catfish and shrimp farmers who sued us to be our ‘opponents,’ but just our competitors. The other team has used a lot of tricks to defeat our products. At first, they disparaged our products, and later they campaigned for anti-dumping duties on our products to protect their profits.

Now, if ‘the other team’ continues to use the same medicine, we’ll build up an immunity and the medicine will lose its effectiveness. Meanwhile, our enterprises, except a few which do not export high quality products, are very serious in doing business and we seek ‘mutual benefit’ for both Vietnamese fish farmers and US consumers.

I think that the US administration now also wants to change its ‘face’. They may have concluded that they are losing more than they are benefiting by getting the money from the anti-dumping duties.

There have been the signs of cooperation instead of restricting imports. I’m not able to go into detail, but I can say that I can see signals from very high ranking officials and this is for the benefit of the US market.

If the US continues imposing anti-dumping duties, Vietnamese enterprises still can exist and develop. What do they impose duties for, then? Overall, the US does not benefit from imposing duties. The “US” is not just its catfish farmers, but also the US distributors, retailers and consumers.

The US distributors, for example, purchase our products not only to sell to the US market, but also to sell worldwide. A seafood trade fair is taking place in Bostonright now. I believe that when Vietnamese enterprises return from the trade fair, we will see clearer signs of willing cooperation.

TBKTSG: Does Vietnam still plan to sue the US at the World Trade Organisation?

Dung: VASEP proposed the Government to file a complaint against the US in 2009. After the Government gave thorough consideration to the case, it officially filed a complaint at the WTO early this year.

Both Vietnam and the US are the members of the WTO. We are going to appeal about the application of the so-called ‘zeroing’ method in calculating dumping duties. As far as I know, the US delegation is going to talk with the Vietnamese side.

VietNamNet/TBKTSG

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