The Fence - 25 August 2021
Harris: Vietnam to reduce ag tariffs, participate in climate-smart ag
Vice President Harris announced in Vietnam today that Vietnam has agreed to cut its import duties on corn, wheat and pork products.
Harris noted that Vietnam is the seventh largest U.S. agricultural export market, and said the tariff cuts “allow U.S. farmers to provide Vietnam with quality and competitively priced products while also helping reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Vietnam.”
Harris also said the United States welcomed Vietnam joining the Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C), an initiative announced at President Biden’s Leaders’ Summit on Climate that will be launched at COP-26 in November 2021.
“AIM4C participants will work together to accelerate global agricultural innovation and the adoption of climate-smart technologies. Together, the United States and Vietnam, along with our global partners, can address shared climate challenges and create innovative solutions to improve food security and drive economic growth around the world,” the White House said in a fact sheet.
U.S. Wheat Associates said, “The tariff suspensions are expected to be implemented soon and will help reduce food costs for the Vietnamese people. It will also help make U.S. wheat more competitive in Vietnam’s growing wheat market.
“Vietnam, like many countries this year, has seen significant food and feed price inflation due to the rise in global commodity prices and COVID impacts on supply chains. Vietnam’s government should be commended for taking this proactive step to assist their domestic millers and consumers.
“The newly announced reduction follows one from July 2020, when Vietnam reduced its tariff on imported U.S. wheat (excluding durum) from 5% to 3% in a revision of its Most Favored Nation tariff rates. Vietnam is the last remaining Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) country applying a tariff against U.S. wheat imports but not against Canadian and Australian wheat, making today’s announcement particularly noteworthy for U.S. wheat growers.
“Despite the tariffs, Vietnam’s imports of U.S. hard red winter wheat and soft white wheat exceeded 500,000 metric tons in marketing year 2020-21, second in volume only to Australia. Vietnam currently imports an average of more than 3 million metric tons of wheat per year.
“The suspension was granted because of the dedicated work between USDA/FAS, cooperator organizations and the Vietnamese importers who petitioned their government to reduce or eliminate certain MFN tariffs to help hold down rising food and feed prices.”