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Made-in-Vietnam products facing trade lawsuits

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Seafood and footwear products with high export turnover have faced trade barriers over the years but exports with small turnover are also facing lawsuits as protectionist trends rise.

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Foreign importers discuss with a Vietnamese woodwork enterprise


According to a report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), 19 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duty avoidance investigations against Vietnamese goods had been initiated by the end of November 2018.

Steel, fibre, household-use appliances, electronics and tires all have become subjects in lawsuits raised by foreign import countries. 

Suspected as a site that helps ‘wash’ the origin of Chinese products, Vietnam’s steel products last year became defendants in many lawsuits raised by the US, Canada, the EU and India.

Since May 2018, one month after the EU declared the safeguard investigation on 26 steel products from other countries, including Vietnam, the exports to the market were seriously affected.

The steel exports to the EU dropped from $89 million in May to 63 million in October 2018.

The steel exports to the US increased, but the US is now investigating some Vietnam’s steel products.

Woodworks have also suffered from protectionism. Huynh Quang Thanh, chair of the Binh Duong Woodwork Association, said Chinese enterprises try to bring their products to Vietnam to get Vietnamese origin before exporting them to the US.

In Binh Duong, 200 foreign invested woodwork enterprises, or one third of total woodwork enterprises, exist, including 30-40 Chinese invested firms.

“Vietnam is near China. The land price in Vietnam is reasonable and the labor cost is low. All these factors will prompt Chinese investors to flock to Vietnam,” he warned.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said that with the US additional taxation package of $200 billion, woodworks have been added to the list of products subject to import restriction.

This will bring opportunities to Vietnam’s woodwork industry as the country can obtain orders initially reserved for Chinese enterprises. But this will also bring problems.

“If Vietnam is exploited to ‘wash’ the Chinese origin, Vietnam’s woodwork industry could suffer, sooner or later, as the US would impose the anti-dumping duty avoidance tax on all woodwork products from Vietnam,” he warned.

Chu Thang Trung, deputy head of the MOIT’s Trade Remedy Administration, noted that  products with low export turnover are also at risk of becoming defendants in anti-dumping lawsuits.

Meanwhile, some experts affirmed that once import countries impose stricter requirements on imports, Vietnam’s products will be more motivated to improve.

Vietnam’s steel exports to the US have been increasing, reaching a peak of $131 million in export turnover in September 2018.



Source: VietNamNet

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