Vietnam’s ministry of industry and trade has labeled a hike in anti-dumping tariffs by the US on pangasius imports “not objective” and “excessive protection”, reports Vietnam News.

US sets even higher anti-dumping rates than expected on Vietnam pangasius.

It proposed the US reviews and adjusts the rates for the Vietnamese companies, on the principle of objectivity, compliance with World Trade Organisation rules, and fairness for all related parties.

In September 2017 the US Department of Commerce (DOC) had proposed a blanket $2.39 per kilogram duty across companies looking to sell to the US; up strongly for most of those firms.

On March 19 Undercurrent News broke the news that the DOC had in fact imposed tariffs of $3.87/kg on most companies, and $7.74/kg on two firms “on a finding of duty reimbursements”.

Vietnamese exporters said the anti-dumping duty for the two companies at $7.74/kg was the highest tax rate ever seen for Vietnamese pangasius fillets exported to the US.

The ministry will continue to cooperate with relevant ministries, sectors, exporters, and the Vietnamese Association Seafood Exporters and Processors (Vasep), to find solutions for this problem, ensuring the legitimate interests of Vietnamese businesses, it said.

Vasep general secretary Truong Dình Hoe, told Vietnam News this was the first time the DOC had “made complete adjustments lacking legal basis, and ignoring the usual rules of making a preliminary decision”.

Vasep maintains that exporters provided all the required information and met the DOC’s deadlines; despite this, the higher duty has been imposed on an “AFA” (adverse facts available) basis.