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Exporters face trade lawsuits

Update: June, 29/2012 - 10:27

by Xuan Hiep

 

A worker packages noodles for export at the Safoco Foodstuff JSC in HCM City. Export businesses must be better prepared to cope with the increasing number of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy lawsuits filed by the US, and other such markets. — VNA/VNS Dinh Hue Photo
HCM CITY – Export businesses must be better prepared to cope with the increasing number of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy lawsuits filed by the US, and other export markets, experts have warned.

Export businesses play an integral part in dealing with anti-dumping and anti-subsidy lawsuits, according to Nguyen Chi Mai, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Competition Management Department.

She spoke at a conference that discussed how to lower the risk of export activities, held yesterday in HCM City.

The conference was held by the World Trade Organisation's Affairs Consultation Centre in HCM City in coordination with the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Competition Management Department and the HCM City Business Association.

Mai said that to cope with such lawsuits, export businesses should closely work together to take initiatives in preventing lawsuits from happening and to minimise the consequences.

They should also learn about other countries' anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations.

It was recommended that export businesses should diversify export products and expand the number of export markets as well as enhance the roles of business associations and industry organisations.

They should always update information about exports, export markets, prices, rivals and market movements.

In addition, speakers said that exporters should further invest in technology to add value to their products. This would help reduce the possibility of anti-dumping lawsuits.

Speakers at the conference said that government agencies should raise the awareness of the business community and industry associations by enhancing dialogue between them and local companies and manufacturers.

They also urged concerned agencies to discuss international trade dispute cases when they are negotiating bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.

One important task for the Government is to provide exporters with sufficient information and evaluate the market situation of import countries, including information about market share, prices, competitiveness, and reaction of local industries in the import countries.

Dinh Anh Tuyet, attorney at IDVN Lawyers, said that export businesses should try to seek support from and work with the Competitiveness Management Department, business associations and prestigious lawyers.

Speaking at the conference, Nguyen Tan Anh, deputy director of the Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, said his company had been struggling with shrimp anti-dumping lawsuits by the US since 2004.

At that time, 35 shrimp export businesses led by VASEP took part in a lawsuit against the US. As a result, Viet Nam was able to pay a lower anti-dumping tax compared to other countries (China, Brazil, Thailand, and India) that the US had also filed lawsuits against.

According to Anh, his company has gone through a very tough time. Yet, he said the lesson he learned from that incident was that patience, courage and determination were necessary to protect the company's legitimate interests.

Last month, speaking at a seminar held in Ha Noi, Tran Huu Huynh, vice general secretary of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), recommended that one effective measure for exporters to protect their legitimate interests would be to file lawsuits in the US courts or use the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

In 2009, when the world economy was at a low point, the number of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy lawsuits against Viet Nam began to rise, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The EU and US filed the highest number of lawsuits, seriously affecting Vietnamese exporters.

Other countries, including Turkey, India, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, have also filed anti-dumping lawsuits against Viet Nam in recent years, according to Mai. — VNS

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