Aquaculture for all

New Trade Barriers Hinder Vietnamese Tra and Basa

Economics +1 more

VIETNAM - Tra and Basa fish exporters and processors are coping with more difficulties after the US extended technical barriers against the import of these products from Vietnam.

After recent fact-finding tours of Tra and Basa fish breeding farms and processing factories in Vietnam, the US Department of Commerce announced that Vietnamese businesses have not dumped their products on its market, says VOVNews.

However, the anti-dumping tariffs on these products exported to the US will be extended another five years as the US International Trade Commission (USITC) fears that its catfish industry will be seriously injured if the high tariffs are lifted.

In addition, the US Department of Agriculture is finalising its Farm Bill which will be enacted in January 2010. The bill will apply the “equivalency policy” which includes Vietnamese Tra and Basa fish in the list of catfish species. This means the products will face tough technical barriers before entering the US.

According to VOVNews, Ngo Van Thoan, Vietnamese trade counsellor to the US, says that the inclusion is unfair, as in 2002, the US Congress passed legislation preventing the imported fish from being labelled as catfish. “The new move shows that the US is building technical barriers to protect domestic production,” says Mr Thoan.

There is no denying that the country’s Tra and Basa farming and processing industry will face numerous difficulties if the two fish species are designated as catfish. Statistics show that only 31 countries across the world meet the US’s food safety and hygiene regulations.

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