|Mr Chu Thang Trung, Deputy Director of Trade Remedies Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade.|
How do you evaluate the impact of the world economic and trade context on Vietnam’s trade remedies in the past year?
In 2022, trade remedy work took place in the context of complicated developments in trade and geopolitical conflicts between some countries, followed by the trend of trade protectionism in many countries. Meanwhile, the escalation of input materials and transportation has resulted in policy changes in many countries to meet the new situation. In addition, international trade continues to be affected by the Covid-19 epidemic; the supply chain was disrupted; The tariff reduction roadmap, as committed in FTAs, has brought the preferential import tax rates to be low, with many tax lines to 0%.
In that context, several Vietnamese exports are still subjected to the investigation and application of trade remedies. In addition, the activities of some domestic manufacturing industries also fluctuate, leading to the need to consider the possibility of using trade remedies; Cases of investigation to evade trade remedies for Vietnamese goods have also increased.
If in 2005-2010, Vietnam only recorded 25 cases of trade remedies for exports, in 2016-2021, this number has increased to 109 cases. As of October 2022, there have been 224 cases of trade remedies against Vietnamese exports. In 2022 alone, countries have conducted 16 cases of trade remedy investigation for Vietnamese exports.
With such an increase in trade remedy cases for Vietnamese exports, how has the Trade Protection Department supported businesses?
In implementing trade remedies against Vietnamese exports, the Trade Protection Department has actively cooperated with ministries, branches, localities, associations and enterprises to handle this effectively. As a result, many enterprises and export products are not subject to trade remedies tax or enjoy low tax rates, contributing to maintaining Vietnam’s export growth.
Specifically, in investigating trade remedies initiated by foreign countries, enterprises need to provide accurate, complete and timely information to the investigating agency to be evaluated and analyzed relatively. If this is not done well, there will be no persuasive evidence to protect exporters. As a result, Vietnamese enterprises will be hurt in the case of applying trade remedies because the latest judgment is only based on evidence and evidence provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the Trade Protection Department has actively supported enterprises to provide the most relevant information and evidence to convince the investigating agency.
Thanks to enterprises’ active participation in providing information in Vietnamese basa fish and shrimp investigation, about 10 pangasius and basa fish enterprises have not been subject to anti-dumping measures when exporting to the United States. Similarly, 31 shrimp exporting enterprises are not subject to tax. As a result, the export turnover of these items to the US in 2022 recorded high growth.
With honey products, in 2021, the US will conduct an anti-dumping investigation on Vietnamese honey. Thanks to the close cooperation between the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Beekeeping Association and honey exporting enterprises, in the official conclusion, the tax rate has been reduced sharply by nearly 7 times. Although the current tax rate is not low, it is also a positive signal and helps honey exports to the US recover. Hopefully, in the coming reviews, the tax rate will gradually decrease with the efforts of enterprises.
Similarly, Trade Protection Department has supported cases such as an anti-dumping tax on coated steel from Vietnam by Mexico, a safeguard tax on imported cement and an anti-dumping investigation on cement from Vietnam and the Philippines, anti-evading investigation for plywood, wooden cabinets of Vietnam by the US … Currently, these cases are still waiting for the official conclusions of the investigating countries.
As for the domestic market, how has the application of trade remedies for imported goods been made, sir?
Up to now, Vietnam has investigated 25 cases of trade remedies against imported goods. This year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade did not initiate a new trade remedy investigation, but three trade remedy measures were decided to apply based on the investigation results following the law. On the other hand, two other trade remedy measures were terminated, and seven conducted a review.
Remarkably, applying anti-tax avoidance measures for cane sugar originating from some ASEAN countries is of great use. Accordingly, after Vietnam applied anti-dumping and anti-subsidy taxes on Thai cane sugar in 2021, the amount of Thai sugar imported into Vietnam decreased sharply, but there was a sudden growth from some other ASEAN countries. Therefore, based on the requirements of the domestic sugar industry, the Trade Protection Department has proposed, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade has approved the application of anti-circumvention measures for cane sugar originating from some ASEAN countries from August 2022.
Similarly, anti-dumping measures were applied to some welding materials products in August 2022; in September 2022, the temporary anti-dumping tax was also applied to furniture products from China.
In 2022, according to the law, the Department of Trade Protection has also reviewed the application of several trade remedies. Accordingly, given galvanized steel products, the review results show that the domestic industry no longer suffers significant damage, and in the immediate future, imported goods are not likely to repeat the damage to the domestic industry. Therefore, the Trade Protection Department has proposed to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to stop applying anti-dumping measures to this product after 5 years of application.
Similarly, the safeguard measure for DAP/MAP fertilizer products has been terminated since September 2022 after 4 years of application.
Meanwhile, the review results of anti-dumping measures for H-shaped steel products imported from China show that the domestic industry is still in danger of severe damage, and imported products are likely to continue to be dumped into the Vietnamese market. Therefore, in August 2022, the Trade Protection Department proposed to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to maintain the decision to apply anti-dumping measures to this product.
Thanks to such trade remedy tools, many economic sectors, such as cane sugar, fertilizer, iron and steel, etc., have significantly improved their production and business capacity, reduced losses, and gradually stabilized their production.
Thank you very much!