US lawmakers seek level playing field for US pork exports to Vietnam

More than 70 lawmakers have sent a letter to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai calling for enhanced access for US pork in Vietnam.

6 May 2021, at 7:13am

Vietnam represents a tremendous opportunity for US pork exports, and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) appreciates the tremendous support for one of its top trade priorities.

“We thank the lawmakers, led by Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin), Darin LaHood (R-Illinois), Jim Costa (D-California) and Dusty Johnson (R-South Dakota), for their support in recognizing the importance of the Vietnamese market to US pork producers,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa. “Vietnam represents a significant opportunity for US hog farmers, yet we’re hamstrung by unjustified tariff and non-tariff barriers, allowing global competitors to take advantage of the supply shortfall.”

Vietnam’s domestic pork production industry is struggling with African swine fever, yet unwarranted tariff and non-tariff barriers restrict the United States from supplying this major pork-consuming nation with affordable, high-quality pork, explained the letter to Tai. “Domestic pork producers need a level playing field to compete in this critical market, particularly after being devastated by trade retaliation and the global pandemic,” the letter noted.

Last year, Vietnam took an initial step forward in addressing the US pork tariff disadvantage when, from July-December 2020, it temporarily reduced its Most Favored Nation tariff rates from 15% to 10% for frozen US pork products. As a result, US pork exports doubled during that timeframe, compared to the first half of the year. “The surge in exports during the tariff reprieve, coupled with Vietnam’s growing population and cultural preference for high-quality pork, demonstrates that the United States is barely scratching the surface of its export potential to Vietnam,” the letter added.

A copy of the letter to Ambassador Tai is available here.