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VASEP opposes US shrimp subsidy decision

Update: June, 01/2013 - 09:21
Shrimp is processed for export at Minh Phu Seafood Corp in the southernmost province of Ca Mau. The Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers has opposed the US's preliminary decision on shrimp subsidies. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet

HCM CITY  (VNS)— The Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has expressed opposition to a preliminary decision by the US Department of Commerce (DOC) on shrimp imports from seven countries, including Viet Nam.

On May 29, in its preliminary decision, the DOC said that the two compulsory defendants, Minh Quy Seafood Co Ltd and Nha Trang Seafood Joint-Stock Company, were receiving subsidies from the Vietnamese government.

The DOC said it would impose anti-subsidy duties of 5.08 per cent for Minh Quy; 7.05 per cent for Nha Trang Seafood; and 6.07 per cent for other businesses that export frozen warm-water shrimp to the US.

The DOC will also impose countervailing duties on products imported from Thailand (2.09 per cent), China (5.76 per cent), India (11.32 per cent) and Malaysia (62.74 per cent).

Tran Thien Hai, VASEP chairman, said the duties imposed on Vietnamese shrimp were "unfair, especially when the product is also subject to anti-dumping duties".

"This will cause more difficulties for the Vietnamese shrimp exporters to the US in coming time," he said.

VASEP was continuing to consult lawyers regarding the case, Hai said.

According to the preliminary decision, Indonesia and Ecuador, two large shrimp exporters, have been exempted from anti-subsidy taxes as the DOC has found no evidence of state subsidies.

The preliminary decision was based on the results of a DOC investigation into recent petitions by shrimp producers and packagers under the US-based Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries.

The final decision is expected to be made in September.

If the International Trade Administration under the DOC concluded that the shrimp industry of the US is injured or is subject to any injury caused by shrimp imports from these countries, the anti-subsidy duties will be imposed.

Ngo Quang Thuy, director of NT Trade Law Company, said that VASEP and businesses still have two months to prepare for the case.

The US was the second-largest importer of shrimp from Viet Nam in the first 11 months of 2012. Japan was the largest.

Shrimp exports to the US fetched more than $425.4 million in the 11-month period in 2012, a drop of 15.6 per cent over the corresponding period in 2011.

The amount to the US accounted for 20.6 per cent of Viet Nam's total shrimp export turnover. — VNS


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