Pork Business | 17 November 2021
Vietnam agrees to cut tariff on US pork
By Jennifer Shike
Vietnam will lower its Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff on imported frozen pork to 10% from 15% with an expected implementation date of July 1, 2022. Better market access to Vietnam, a major pork-consuming country, has been a top trade priority for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).
NPPC led recent efforts, including a letter from 70 members of Congress, asking U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to encourage Vietnam to eliminate tariffs on U.S. pork. In 2020, NPPC Assistant Vice President of International Affairs Maria Zieba also testified on the importance to U.S. pork producers of the Vietnamese market and urged the Trump administration not to impose U.S. tariffs on goods from Vietnam over that country’s alleged currency manipulation.
“We thank the lawmakers, led by Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), for their support in recognizing the importance of the Vietnamese market to U.S. pork producers,” NPPC President Jen Sorenson said in a release. “Vietnam consumes a lot of pork, but it has been dealing with African swine fever. That has decimated its domestic pork production and increased its reliance on imported pork. The tariff cut will let us send more product to Vietnam to fill its need.”
Although the rate reduction will help as the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement with Vietnam, NPPC said the U.S. pork industry remains at a competitive disadvantage to pork-supplying countries that do. Some of these countries include the European Union, Russia and nations in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. CPTPP countries have a duty of only 7.5% on frozen pork exports going to Vietnam.
“Because of Vietnam’s high tariff on and non-tariff barriers to U.S. pork and the lack of a free trade agreement or preferential trade deal between the U.S. and Vietnam, the U.S. pork industry shipped only about 25,000 metric tons of pork worth $54 million to Vietnam in 2020,” NPPC said in a release.
In comparison, Mexico – the U.S. pork industry’s No. 2 export market by volume and a member of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement – the U.S. exported more than 735,000 metric tons valued at $1.2 billion to Mexico last year.
NPPC continues to urge the administration, which helped facilitate Vietnam’s tariff reduction, to join the 11-nation CPTPP. The U.S. was part of that trade pact’s predecessor, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which NPPC strongly supported, but the Trump administration withdrew from the deal before it was finalized.