Tra and Basa Fish Dispute between the U.S. and Vietnam

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Han Lam Giang _ KT36C 00646
Hoang Thi Tu Minh _ KT36B 00836

Nguyen Phuong Dung _ KT36C 00716


I. Overview about Vietnam maritime production

1. Globalization of Vietnam catfish production industry

Since Vietnam integrate international economic and accept international commercial principles, especially Vietnam joined Asia Pacific Economics cooperation, Vietnam Tra and basa fish grow dramatically.

Vietnam has succeeded in the implementation of synthetic species planting on Tra and basa fish as well as technique of white Tra growing. This is a great comparative advantage of Vietnam.

The United States took off the trade embargo to Vietnam and after that, US and Vietnam signed bilateral trade agreement in December, 2001. Thus, the tariff barrier erected to the seafood products has been eradicated to nearly zero level. The exact number is 4.4 cent per kilogam, which is applied to cat-fish import duty into US.

( With those facilities, export volumes of Tra and basa to the US have increased fastly over a short period of time. In 1998, there are 200 tons Tra and basa were exported to the US and after 4 year since participating APEC, this number is 20.000 tons.

2. Tra Fish and Basa Fish

❖ American catfish consists of two kinds: channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), which belong to Ictaluridae. It is usually planted in static water pond in some states as Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Channel fish planting and processing is one of the largest seafood industry of the United States. ❖ Vietnamese catfish consists of two kinds: Tra (Pangasius pangasius) and Basa (Pangasius bocourti), which belong to Pangasidae. Their features and tastes are similar to those of American channel fish but their prices are much lower. Tra and Basa are becoming threats to channel fish planting and processing in the United States as 90% of import catfish volumes are from Vietnam.

II. Tra and Basa Fish Dispute between Vietnam and the US.

1. Name dispute

• American actions

In 2 years 2001-2002, The U.S congress discussed and passed The Farm security and Agricultural Investment Act, in which Vietnam’s Tra and Basa fish were rejected to imported into U.S market with name as catfish. American catfish producers hoped that: It was difficult to Tra and Basa fish to be imported into U.S and the increase in demand of catfish would lead to the increase in price.

• Vietnam’s respond

However, facing with that case, Vietnam had immediately flexible policies. Instead of using “Catfish”, Vietnam named Tra fish and Basa fish for our products. "The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers" (VASEP) used “Basa” for all Vietnamese Pangasius Fish. After that, we took a lot of campanges to explain and advertize to American customers what is Tra and Basa Fish of Vietnam as well as raise quality and pricing competition of the products.

• Affect on Vietnamese production

Afer a short time, Tra and Basa fish were accepted in American market fast although the volume of export decreased a bit. Because it was the first dispute about fish between Vietnam and US and due to our marketing, although Vietnam didn’t win in the name dispute, our product’s trademark were famous all over the world and spreaded to large markets like EU, Australia, Japan.

2. Dumping case

• American actions

From the first dipute, the volume of Tra and Basa fish raised rapidly while American catfish selling got troubles with lack of food or rasing oil price…By the GATT and WTO round, tariff barriers were chopped significantly. However the anti- dumping measure, as a non-tariff barrier, is keeping an important role.

After making difficult to Vietnam’s Tra and Basa fish with the name problem, Catfish Farmers of America (CFA) debuted Vietnam’s business dumping with the...
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