Vietnam applauds ITA’s pangasius ruling
Vietnamese pangasius exporters were please to learn on Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) decided not use the Philippines as the surrogate country when calculating antidumping duty rates for Vietnamese pangasius, following a public-comment period.
Last September, the ITA riled Vietnamese pangasius interests when it decided to switch the surrogate country from Bangladesh to the Philippines. At the time, the Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said it’s inappropriate to use the Philippines’ pangasius industry as a comparison to calculate production costs.
The ITA had collected figures from just 36 pangasius ponds representing 12 metric tons of production per year, and fish feed costs are about four times higher in the Philippines, where production and management costs are much higher and industry is mainly subsidized, according to VASEP.
Calculating antidumping duty rates is performed annually part of the administrative review process. This is the sixth administrative review for pangasius, and the tariffs stem from an antidumping petition the Catfish Farmers of America filed against Vietnamese pangasius exporters in 2002, arguing that foreign exporters were selling the catfish-like fish in the U.S. market at less than fair value.
“We are very pleased that the U.S. Department of Commerce has recognized our legal and factual arguments as to why the Philippines is not an appropriate surrogate country for Vietnam,” said VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe. “VASEP and the individual member companies involved in this review would like to express our appreciation to our supporters in the United States and Vietnam who helped us address very important issue.”
If the Philippines has been designated the surrogate country, tariffs on Vietnamese pangasius would surely have increased.
In an ITA memo obtained by SeafoodSource, the ITA issued weighted average dumping margins of USD 0.02 for Agifish, ESS LLC and South Vina and zero for Vihn Hoan, Vihn Quang and CL-Fish. Once the final results are issued, the ITA will determine the antidumping duty rates for each pangasius producer.