Vietnam to lower tariffs on US corn, wheat, pork products

Vietnam to lower tariffs on US corn, wheat, pork products

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Changes expected to be implemented soon

The White House said on August 25 that Vietnam would lower tariffs on corn, wheat and pork products.

The announcement came after Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Vietnam this week.

“U.S. farmers and pork producers will have greater access to markets in Vietnam — the United States’ seventh largest agricultural export market — as a result of Vietnam’s positive consideration of our proposal to eliminate or reduce MFN (most favored nation) import duties on corn, wheat and pork products,” the White House said in a statement. “These 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.”

The tariff changes are expected to be implemented soon.

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) said in a statement that it is grateful to the Biden administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) for their work alongside Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance to reduce the cost of wheat for Vietnam’s millers and consumers.

“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,” USW said.

In July 2020, Vietnam reduced its tariff on imported U.S. wheat from 5% to 3%.

“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,” USW said.

In May, a bipartisan group of more than 70 members of Congress sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai in an effort to expand Vietnam’s market access to U.S. pork.

Eliminating trade barriers with Vietnam has been one of the legislative priorities of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), which says Vietnam is one of the best near-term export market opportunities for the U.S. pork industry. Domestic pork consumption in Vietnam is greater than 2.5 million metric tons (MT) per year, but in 2020, U.S. pork producers only exported 25,183 MT to Vietnam, at a value of US$54 million.

Additionally, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) said in May that it is implementing market access and development programs for the U.S. animal feed industry in Vietnam.