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June 13, 2006

US: Food industry urges Congress to liberalise relations with Vietnam

The Agriculture Coalition for US-Vietnam Trade, which includes the National Pork Producers Council and 30 other organisations has sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to approve Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Vietnam so that US agriculture can benefit from the Southeast Asian nation’s accession to the World Trade Organisation.

The Agriculture Coalition for US-Vietnam Trade, which includes the National Pork Producers Council and 30 other organisations has sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to approve Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Vietnam so that US agriculture can benefit from the Southeast Asian nation’s accession to the World Trade Organisation.


Last month, the US negotiated an agreement that defined the terms of Vietnam’s entry into the WTO, an agreement that “will play an important role in our ongoing efforts to expand US agricultural exports to Asia,” said the Coalition in its letter, which was sent to every member of Congress.


The letter said that whilst the Coalition commended trade officials for negotiating the agreement, without Congressional action, US farmers, ranchers, and food companies will not reap the trade gains. Accordingly, the letter urged Congress to provide Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status to Vietnam. 
 
“Through the WTO accession process, the United States will gain significant new access to Vietnam’s growing market, while Vietnam will gain no greater access to the US market, making it an undeniable win for American agriculture. We therefore strongly support WTO membership for Vietnam and urge you to support extending Permanent Normal Trading Relations (PNTR) status to that country as a necessary step in the membership process,” the letter concluded.

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