Vietnam mulls reducing import taxes on US agricultural products

By Anh Minh   December 8, 2019 | 11:03 pm PT
Vietnam mulls reducing import taxes on US agricultural products
Chicken imported from the U.S. sold at a supermarket in Hanoi. Photo acquired by VnExpress.
The U.S. wants Vietnam to cut import taxes on a number of its agricultural products in 2020, and eventually reduce them to zero percent.

Following the U.S.’s request, the Ministry of Finance has submitted to the government proposed changes to the decree on preferential import and export tariffs.

According to the ministry, the U.S. has asked for reducing the import taxes on chicken, chicken products, almond, apple, fresh grape, wheat, pork, and potato.

They are now at around 20 percent, and the U.S. wants the import tax on chicken and chicken products scrapped by 2028, on pork by 2027, apple and grape by 2020, and wheat and processed potato by 2021.

The ministry is considering the demand since it could help reduce Vietnam’s trade surplus with the U.S.

But the cuts are unlikely to be as deep as the U.S. wants and would only match the tax cuts proposed under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The ministry would finalize the rates following consultation with other ministries and agencies.

In the first 10 months this year, the U.S. was Vietnam’s largest export market with total exports value of $49.9 billion, up 26.6 percent year-on-year, according to Vietnam's General Statistics Office.

In the same period, Vietnam imported $12 billion worth of goods from the U.S., up 12.6 percent year-on-year, it said.

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