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US agricultural exports scouting boost through trade mission to Vietnam

The United States Department of Agriculture is organising a trade mission in September for US agricultural producers to Vietnam. This is in line with broad efforts on the part of the USDA to boost agricultural exports to this rapidly developing economy.

That said, imports of agricultural products into Vietnam have, of late, ruffled the feathers of local agricultural producers.

In March, for example, the Vietnam Livestock Association and the Animal Feed, Large Livestock and Poultry Breeding Associations requested that the Government of Vietnam apply additional technical barriers on imported meats.

They asserted that as tariffs come down–a result of Vietnam’s myriad of free trade deals–Vietnam will become heavily dependent on meat imports at the expense of the local industry.

Conversely, Vietnam’s agricultural exports are also facing challenges. Local farmers have lamented that logistics costs are increasing making it difficult to sell products overseas and phytosanitary measures in key export markets, specifically the European Union, are seeing increased inspections of Vietnam’s agricultural goods and entry denied to goods that don’t meet EU standards.

This matters in that the export of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables to the member states of Vietnam’s many free trade agreements has been used to sell these trade deals to the Vietnamese people. However, with all of this in mind, it’s not clear that the Vietnamese people have, in fact, been sold.

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