WASHINGTON – The National Pork Producer Council stated on Nov. 17 that Vietnam would lower its Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff on imported frozen pork to 10% from 15%.

Implementation of the reduction will begin on July 1, 2022. NPPC said that getting market access to Vietnam has been a top trade priority for the trade association.

“We thank the lawmakers, led by Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD, for their support in recognizing the importance of the Vietnamese market to US pork producers,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson. “Vietnam consumes a lot of pork, but it has been dealing with African swine fever. That has decimated its domestic pork production and increased its reliance on imported pork. The tariff cut will let us send more product to Vietnam to fill its need.”

In 2020, Maria Zieba, assistant vice president of international affairs at NPPC, testified about the importance to US pork producers and urged the Trump administration not to impose US tariffs on goods from Vietnam over the alleged currency manipulation in the country.  

NPPC said it led efforts, including a letter from 70 members of Congress, asking US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to press Vietnam to eliminate tariffs on US pork.

At the moment, the United States still does not have a free trade agreement with Vietnam. NPPC stated that the rate reduction helps, but the United States remains at a competitive disadvantage with the European Union, Russia and nations in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) that do have free trade. 

The trade association said that CPTPP countries have a 7.5% duty compared to the 10% from the US product going to Vietnam. NPPC said it is continuing to urge the Biden administration to join the CPTPP. 

The United States was part of the previous Trans-Pacific Partnership, but the Trump administration eventually withdrew from negotiations during 2017.