U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper said bilateral trade was growing steadily over the past decade, reaching 130 billion USD in 2022, of which 10 billion USD went to agriculture.

Following the elevation of the relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, there's no doubt that bilateral trade, particularly in the agricultural sector, would continue to thrive.

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper

In other words, a wider range of American agricultural products would make their way into Vietnam in the short term and so would Vietnamese products into the U.S.

Francis Lee, a representative of the Washington Apple Commission, said American apples were in high demand in Vietnam with about 2 million baskets being consumed annually. Other products such as grapes and cherries were also gaining popularity among Vietnamese consumers.

He expected that the upgraded relationship would facilitate the entry of more American fruits into Vietnam in the years to come. He said Vietnam and the U.S. could consider reducing import tariffs to make each country's fruits more competitive in the other country.

Currently, American apples and grapes are subject to import tariffs of approximately 8%, while other fruits ranging from 10-15%. If the tariffs are reduced or cut down to 0%, it would be a significant opportunity for American fruits to enter the Vietnamese market.

Vu Ngan Giang, a representative of the U.S. Grains Council, said the U.S. remained the largest producer and exporter of sorghum in the world, producing over 11.5 million tons and exporting 7.4 million tons in 2021.

Vietnamese consumers purchase sorghum mostly in the form of mixed ingredients. There is no data about sorghum import as a single ingredient, but what is known is that sorghum products were gaining favor in the country.

"Sorghum is what Vietnamese consumers need for their healthy eating pattern," said Giang.

Le Van Anh Tu, a representative of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, said Vietnamese consumers had a great appetite for American tri-tip beef. However, current import tariffs of between 14-20% have made the product less affordable to them.

He hoped that the upgraded relationship would pave the way for some tariff cuts on agricultural products in the future, making American beef more competitive when entering the country.

In the fruit sector, seven types of fruits from the U.S. have been permitted to be exported to Vietnam. Peach is expected to make the eighth on the horizon.

Source: VNA