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Cablegate: Vietnam: Minister of Trade Letter to Secretary

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 000156

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

USDOC FOR SECRETARY EVANS
USDOC ALSO FOR 6500 AND 4431/MAC/AP/OKSA/VLC/HPPHO
STATE PASS USTR FOR EBRYAN
TREASURY FOR OASIA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIS EAGR ECON ETRD VM
SUBJECT: VIETNAM: MINISTER OF TRADE LETTER TO SECRETARY
EVANS EXPRESSES CONTINUING CONCERN OVER ANTIDUMPING CASE


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - HANDLE ACCORDINGLY

1. (SBU) The Vietnamese Ministry of Trade has responded
to Secretary of Commerce Evans' letter of December 12, 2002
with a letter from Minister of Trade Tuyen - text follows in
para 2.

2. (SBU) Begin text of letter - original will not be
forwarded:

(Informal Translation by MOT)

MINISTRY OF TRADE
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Hanoi, January 15, 2003

H.E. Mr. Donald L. Evans
Secretary of Commerce

SIPDIS
United States Department of Commerce

Dear Mr. Secretary,

I acknowledge with many thanks the receipt on 3rd January,
2003 of your letter dated 12th December, 2002.

It is obvious that we have different points of view
regarding the market nature of Vietnam's economy. The
Ministry of Trade of Vietnam will send its rebuttal comment
on DOC's ME/NME conclusion of 8th November 2002 to you soon.
I believe you and I have shared responsibility to help
narrow our differences with a view to fostering Vietnam - US
trade relations, thus promoting the multifaceted relations
between the two countries toward the implementation of
President Bush's initiative recently proposed to ASEAN
leaders.

In this spirit, the Ministry of Trade expresses its great
concerns over the attempts by a number of US domestic shrimp
producers seeking unfair protection by abusing the US
safeguard measures and anti-dumping laws to restrict shrimp
imports from Vietnam and other countries. I would like to
take this opportunity to reaffirm that Vietnam does not dump
either shrimps or frozen Basa and Tra fish (catfish) filets
into the US market. I would like, therefore, to
respectfully ask you, in your high capacity, to handle the
issues in a fair and just manner, to avoid any negative
implication for the on-going fine development of the overall
trade relations between the two countries against the
backdrop of our historic BTA.

Regarding the DOC's ongoing investigation of the petition
against certain frozen fish fillets from Vietnam, I would
like to draw your attention to the active and constructive
cooperation from the Vietnamese exporters concerned in
providing fully and promptly within a short period of time
all the information that the DOC has requested. They have
made such enormous efforts with a strong belief that the DOC
shall undertake a careful and accurate analysis and come at
an impartial and fair conclusion of the case as the
officials from your High Department have more than once
assured to the Vietnamese government and businesses.
Whereas we always highly appreciate these commitments, I
would like to reiterate our hope to see those assurances in
the Department's deeds. While we do not share the DOC's
conclusion of NME status of Vietnam, I would like to restate
our request that the DOC accept Bangladesh as the surrogate
country should the DOC consider using a third country's data
to estimate comparable production costs.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Trade of Vietnam has been
informed of the US Department of Commerce's suggestion to
consider a Suspension Agreement (SA), which was briefed to
us by Mr. Joseph Spetrini, Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Import Administration during his official trip to Hanoi in
the week of 17th December, 2002. I would like to stress,
however, that the Vietnamese government and businesses
involved would be in a position to consider this option only
on the basis of a fair and accurate preliminary
determination by the DOC to be made on 24th January, 2003.
An unreasonably high tariff rate would be detrimental to the
bilateral trade relations between our two countries in
general and to the interests of both producers and consumers
in particular, and therefore would be unacceptable to us.
(EMBASSY NOTE: We checked this rather confusing translation
but unfortunately, this paragraph was no clearer in the
original Vietnamese and so we can offer no further
clarification. END NOTE.)

It is my hope that my concerns will receive your kind
consideration on the basis of constructive cooperation to
the further development of Vietnam - US trade relations.

Looking forward to your positive respond, I would like to
take this opportunity to renew to you, Mr. Secretary, the
assurances of my highest consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Truong Dinh Tuyen
Minister of Trade of Vietnam

End Text.
PORTER

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