TPP trashed, seafood sector to face tough challenges

If President-elect Donald Trump scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact, Vietnam’s seafood industry will face the toughest challenges, The national Vietnam Television’s channel 1 (VTV1) reported.

Trump’s recent announcement on killing TPP has shaken global manufacturing, imports of many nations, including Vietnam, according to VTV1. Besides, labor-extensive sectors such as apparel, leather footwear, the seafood sector is projected to get hit by such a decision from Trump’s administration.

CEO Tran Van Pham of Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock said it is too soon to gauge the impacts of such a move; however, seafood exporters will face tough challenges. Meanwhile, Chairman Le Van Quang of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said that once TPP is abolished, Vietnam’s (seafood exporters) will face disadvantages including unhealthy and unfair competition. Currently, the U.S. is the main market of Vietnamese seafood exports and accounts for a fifth of the Southeast Asian country’s export revenue of the commodity.

With TPP trashed, some of America’s trade partners in the Pacific region are looking to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to fill the void. RCEP originated from an attempt to forge individual free-trade agreements between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six other countries—Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand—into a trade bloc. China would be the biggest country economy in the group, while the U.S.A. would be excluded. For seafood sector, it would mainly support shrimp shipments from Indian and Vietnam to China, and may stimulate some movement of further processing of seafood from China to Vietnam.

Anh Tuan

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