Vietnam is the latest country to ratify and enter the 11-country Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Mexico, the largest foreign market for U.S. rice, is also a CPTPP member and has agreed to slowly lower tariffs on Vietnamese rice. As it stands now, Vietnam does not offer any real competition to U.S. rice exports, but that’s largely due to the fact that Mexico levies a 20 percent tariff on Vietnamese rice while U.S. rice enters tariff-free, thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Under CPTPP, Mexico will phase out its tariffs on Vietnamese rice over 10 years. The USA Rice Federation says U.S. rice will still hold an advantage because of quality, but Vietnamese product “will represent a threat amongst more price-sensitive customers as the tariff disappears.”

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