Vietnam Will Lower Tariffs on Dairy Products
Vietnam announced late last week that it will unilaterally lower tariffs on U.S. dairy products starting July 10.
Skim milk powder, whole milk powder, cheese, milk albumin and protein isolates are included in the announcement, with may of the tariffs dropping by 50 percent or more.
“Vietnam’s decision to unilaterally lower tariffs will better position the U.S. dairy industry to provide a consistent supply of high quality and competitively priced dairy products to the mutual benefit of both nations,” says U.S. Dairy Export Council President and CEO Tom Vilsack.
“While this is certainly a development to celebrate, USDEC will continue working toward a free-trade agreement with Vietnam that expands U.S. market share by removing all dairy tariffs and ensuring that the access afforded to U.S. suppliers is second to none,” adds Vilsack.
Australia, New Zealand and the European Union (EU) were poised to gain preferred access to the Vietnamese market through recent trade agreements including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the EU-Vietnam Trade Agreement. The United States had pulled out of the TPP in the early days of the Trump Administration, potentially placing U.S. exports at a competitive disadvantage when the trade agreements go into effect.
Since 2017, U.S. dairy exports to Vietnam have grown more than 50 percent, reaching $170.5 million last year and totally 86,230 metric tons of dairy products. Vietnam is now the U.S. dairy industry’s eighth largest export market, note USDEC officials.
Recognizing that market could be jeopardized by the new trade agreements, USDEC officials submitted a petition to the Vietnamese government in April 2019 to reduce the tariffs. USDEC also used a local team to conduct follow-up contact in-market with Vietnam.