The Ag Coalition for U.S.-Vietnam Trade sent a letter to every member of Congress urging the passage of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Vietnam. According to the coalition, products benefiting would be beef, pork, dairy products, grapes, apples, pears and soybeans. Under the agreement, tariff rates for 75% of U.S. ag exports to Vietnam would decline to 15% or less. According to the U.S. Trade Representative, tariffs would be reduced as follows:
- Pork: Tariffs on pork offals immediately will fall from a 20% rate to 15% with further reductions to 8% over four years. Tariffs on other key pork and pork products will be reduced by 50% over five years, including tariffs on hams and carcasses, which will fall from 30% to 15% in that timeframe. Rates on processed pork products will be reduced from 20% to 10% over five years.
- Beef: Tariffs on U.S. beef offals will fall from the current 20% to 15% immediately and phase down to 8% over four years. Boneless beef will be cut from 20% to 14% over five years. The duty on beef sausages, currently at 50%, will drop to 40% immediately and be reduced to 22% over five years.
- Hides and Skins: Tariffs on hides and skins will be bound at zero immediately. This is currently one of the largest U.S exports to Vietnam.
- Grains: Vietnam will bind its applied rate of 5% for both corn and wheat.
- Soybean products: Tariffs on full fat soybean meal and flour will be reduced from 30% to 8% over five years. Tariffs on soybean oil also will be significantly reduced, from 50% to 30% with additional reductions to 20% over five years.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent