According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam is ranked fourth in the world where most trade remedies are applied. The goods under trade remedy investigations include aluminum, steel, seafood, plywood, building materials, etc.
According to the report, as of September 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has recorded and solved 193 trade remedy cases on Vietnam's exported goods, including 108 anti-dumping cases, 22 anti-subsidy cases, 23 anti-tax evasion cases, and 40 self-defense cases.
Over the past nine months, 13 new trade remedy investigations have been initiated on Vietnam's exported goods, doubling the number of trade remedies investigation in 2019. The markets that regularly investigate trade remedies with Vietnam's exports are the US, EU, India, Canada, and Australia, accounting for 62% of the total investigations. However, the investigations by ASEAN countries on Vietnam's goods have recently increased, accounting for 20%.
According to Mr. Trieu Dung, the Director of Trade Defence Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, since the first case in 2003, Vietnam's exported value of USD 12 billion has been affected because of initiated investigations.
"The value of USD 12 billion doesn’t mean damaged or lost products. It is a relative calculation based on the export turnover of those items in the previous year. For example, when the US initiated an investigation on Vietnamese shrimp products, 80% of the turnover of this product was still exported to the US market. Not all the shrimps were affected", Mr. Dung explained.
We have successfully appealed 65/151 cases, which means the products are not subject to the tariff and the trade remedies are terminated. Although trade remedies have been applied on many products including seafood, steel, wood, many enterprises have been only subject to 0% or very low tariffs, thus maintaining and increasing export, especially to large markets such as the US, EU, and Canada.
According to an international trade expert, in the context of increasing protectionism in the world, and import-export turnover in Vietnam, the rapidly increasing number of trade remedy cases is understandable.
"A country initiating trade remedy investigations on a particular product shows that the import turnover of that product increases rapidly, putting pressure on its domestic production. Therefore, on the positive side, Vietnam's export increases so considerably that it is under trade remedy investigations", he explained. Trade remedies are regarded as the measure that protects the domestic production of a country. Vietnam has also taken this measure to protect its fertilizer, steel, and fiber production.
According to Mr. Dung, the number of initiated investigations of trade remedies on Vietnamese products is certain to increase in the future. However, it is also recommended that if domestic manufacturing enterprises notice that foreign products show signs of evading government subsidies, they should require investigation to protect domestic production.
The good news is that nowadays, domestic enterprises are not afraid to hear of trade remedy investigations from international markets anymore. They have actively prevented these investigations. Mr. Dung informed that in the past, many enterprises had felt awkward and reserved when the management agency came to support them with procedures of lawsuits. But up to now, almost every week and month, the Trade Defence Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade has received proposals from enterprises and associations to learn more about the risk of being investigated, even on low-risk products.
"Over the past three months, we’ve worked with 12 associations on ceramics or wood sectors. They have recommended inviting the US experts to discuss the cases subject to trade remedy investigations", said Mr. Dung.
Translated by VietnamCredit