ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, US — Following Vietnam’s elimination of a 3% import tariff on wheat from the United States on Dec. 30, 2021, the first shipment of US wheat purchased without a tariff arrived Feb. 6 at port in Ho Chi Minh City, US Wheat Associates (USW) announced Feb. 25. The shipment carried more than 68,350 tonnes of soft white and hard red spring wheat grown in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains.

Vietnam imports an average of about 4 million tonnes of wheat per year. Australia and Canada are large wheat suppliers to Vietnam and had enjoyed duty-free access to Vietnam for many years under regional trade agreements. 

“The Foreign Agricultural Service worked hard to cut this barrier and level the playing field for US wheat in Vietnam,” said Vince Peterson, president, US Wheat Associates. “Vietnam first reduced the US wheat import tariff from 5% to 3% in July 2020. The talks continued until Vietnam published the final decree, and USDA and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced in November 2021 that the tariff would be eliminated.”

Even with the applied US wheat import tariff, Vietnamese millers doubled US import volume to more than 520,000 tonnes between 2015 and 2021. In addition to soft white and hard red spring wheat, Vietnam imported US hard red winter and soft red winter wheat in 2021. That returned about $130 million to US farmers and the wheat supply industry, according to USW.