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Gov’t to tackle trade lawsuits

Update: July, 27/2018 - 07:00
Experts speak about their experiences in and insights into trade remedies at a seminar in HCM City yesterday (Thursday).—VNS Photo Hoàng Nguyên
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY – As the number of trade remedy cases and their complexities are increasing, exporters should build up knowledge about trade defence tools and work together with authorities to overcome trade barriers, a seminar heard in HCM City on July 26.

Statistics from the Trade Remedies Authority of Việt Nam show that there have been around 130 cases against Vietnamese exports by 17 markets so far.

They include 25 by the US, 20 by Turkey and 15 by India, 78 being for dumping, 12 for subsidies and countervailing measures and 17 for circumvention.

Steel products are most vulnerable to trade remedies and are involved in almost half of the anti-dumping cases. They are followed by fibre and farm and fishery products.

According to Trần Thị Lan Hương from the Authority’s trade remedies compliance division, some of the common cases Việt Nam is involved in are multi-countries lawsuits, domino cases meaning one country after another files lawsuits, dual lawsuits (simultaneously against dumping and subsidy), and for circumvention of anti-dumping duties.

She said not only key export products like steel, textiles and agricultural and fishery products are likely to face the risk of trade remedies investigations, but even minor items.

“Once a country feels its domestic products cannot compete with imported products, it is likely to use trade protection measures.

“Not only products with an export turnover of US$200-300 million will face higher tariffs, but also products whose exports are worth only $2-3 million.”

She said it is very important that export firms work together and collaborate with official agencies to appeal trade remedy cases because if firms give up an export market easily whenever a lawsuit comes up, it would lead to other markets too taking legal action against Vietnamese products.

Phạm Châu Giang, deputy head of the Authority, said to reduce the risk of being involved in trade remedies, first of all the Government should improve the “alert system” to notify firms about possible cases so that they could better prepare for them.

Besides, firms should vary their products and do not depend solely on one market so that if they face higher tariffs or lose one market they still can export to others.

“More importantly, export enterprises should not think only about themselves but collaborate with the Government and other enterprises in the sector to share information. It will help them develop a strategic plan to appeal lawsuits.”

While admitting it takes a lot of time and sometimes a lot of money to pursue a trade remedy appeal case, she pointed out that exporters are not in this fight alone and always have the Government’s support from beginning to end.

This is because defending a trade remedy case is not the job of a single firm but that of the entire sector and the Government as the consequences can affect the country’s exports, she said. — VNS


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