Local shrimp exporters hope to win US anti-subsidy lawsuit

(VOV) -The Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) is cooperating with the government’s lawyers and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) to settle the US lawsuit against frozen warm-water shrimp imported from Vietnam.

Pham Huong Giang, Deputy Head of the VCA’s Trade Remedies Board, affirmed that the government of Vietnam does not provide any subsidy for local shrimp producers and exporters.

Vietnamese businesses and relevant agencies are actively cooperating with the US investigation agency to settle the lawsuit, which is unreasonable, she said.

She noted that local firms have answered the US Department of Commerce (DOC)’s inquiries on schedule and provided documents and evidence proving that they do not receive any subsidy from the government.

Processing shrimp for export (Photo: VNP)

Processing shrimp for export (Photo: VNP)

According to Giang, the DOC’s final decision on levying anti-subsidy duties on Vietnamese shrimp does not truly and properly reflect the real situation in Vietnam.

She said in its latest decision the Department lowers countervailing duties from 7.05% to 1.15% for Nha Trang Seaproduct Co, and from 6.07% to 4.52% for other local exporters.

However, she added, it maintains that Minh Qui Co, a subsidiary of Minh Phu Seafood Corp, will be taxed 7.88%, higher than the rate stated in its preliminary determination.

As a point of fact, Vietnam is imposed lower anti-subsidy tax rates compared to four other nations involved in the lawsuit, including China, India, Ecuador and Malaysia. However, the rates are still higher than the lawsuit’s two defendants, namely Indonesia and Thailand.

Giang also raised her concern over double taxation as Vietnamese shrimp businesses are facing anti-dumping taxes ranging between 0.53% and 2.76%. This will create obstacles to local shrimp exporters to the US and heavily impact the lives of more than 630,000 aquacultural farmers in Vietnam which US consumers will also have to pay higher prices for imported shrimp.

The DOC’s final decision will be submitted to the International Trade Commission (ITC) for approval before being announced on September 26. If the ITC certifies that US businesses suffer property losses due to the Vietnamese government’s subsidy, the DOC will officially levy anti-subsidy duties on October 3, 2013. Otherwise, the DOC’s lawsuit against imported shrimp from Vietnam will come to an end when the ITC finds no property losses in US businesses.

Previously, Vietnamese steel pipe exporters won the US lawsuit after the ITC announced that US businesses suffered no losses.

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