Proactively responding to trade remedies to increase export to the United States

VCN - Along with the growth of Vietnam's export turnover to the United States, the frequency of trade defence cases against Vietnam's exports in this market is increasing.
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The products facing US trade defence measures are very diverse such as: wooden furniture, seafood, solar cells, high pressure washers, steel...
The products facing US trade defence measures are very diverse such as: wooden furniture, seafood, solar cells, high pressure washers, steel...

Increasing anti-evasion investigations

Mr. Do Ngoc Hung, Commercial Counselor, Head of the Vietnam Trade Office in the United States, said that according to statistics from the US Department of Commerce, in the first 8 months of 2023, Vietnam's total export turnover to the United States reached about US$ 73 billion and a trade surplus of about US$ 66 billion, bringing Vietnam to third place in terms of trade surplus with the United States, only after China and Mexico.

Export turnover to the United States accounts for about 30% of Vietnam's total export turnover to countries around the world and accounts for more than 30% of export turnover of ASEAN countries. This shows that Vietnam is always an important and sustainable partner of the United States. However, along with that, there are also risks of trade defence. According to statistics, the proportion of US trade defence cases applied to Vietnam accounts for about 53% of the total number of trade defence cases against Vietnam's exported goods. Therefore, the risks of trade defence are also becoming greater and greater.

In addition, US domestic enterprises are very aware of their rights and tools when imported goods compete fiercely, causing damage and injury to the domestic manufacturing industry. They also know how to use trade defence measures to protect their interests if they are sued in the United States. Therefore, cases have been increasing in recent times.

As of October 2023, trade defence cases involving Vietnamese export goods accounted for 58 cases. The products are also increasingly expanding and diversifying and are not our main export industries.

According to the European-American Market Department, the products facing trade defence cases by the United States are very diverse: from items with large export turnover, which Vietnam has strengths such as wooden furniture and seafood. products, solar cells, high pressure washers, steel... to items with small export turnover such as honey, woven bags...

“Regarding trade defence issues, in addition to traditional investigations in the past 3 years, the United States has had a clear increase in investigation activities of anti-evasion measures implemented by the US Department of Commerce, and investigating origin fraud, combating the use of forced labour by US Customs. In addition, in the context of a difficult global economy and the risk of falling into recession, Vietnamese export enterprises face an increase in many fraudulent tricks, especially international payments...", the European-American Market Department informed.

Vietnamese goods create great competitive pressure

Sharing about this issue, Lawyer Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Deputy Head of Vietnam ID Law Office, said that Vietnamese enterprises exporting goods to the United States are increasingly encountering trade defence cases, this is a difficulty in addition to the difficulties of technical standards, barriers, and epidemic prevention measures. With the United States being Vietnam's largest export market, enterprises must understand that when exporting to the United States, they need to take into account commercial risks.

“Vietnamese enterprises must pay attention to what the US trade defecse measures are, how many measures there are, and what forms of investigation there are. Regarding trade defence issues, it was mainly anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations 5-6 years ago, then recently, it has increased anti-evasion investigations by the US Department of Commerce (DOC) and investigation of origin fraud and combat of the use of forced labour by US Customs. In about 2-3 years, these two investigative measures have significantly increased in frequency”, said Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao.

​According to Ms. Thao, the reason which some Vietnamese product groups face the risk of increased trade defence cases by the United States was that Vietnamese goods created great competitive pressure on similar goods made in the United States. Along with that, sometimes Vietnamese goods were subject to "involved" investigations. Because some products had small revenue and turnover, manufacturing enterprises in the United States wanted to prevent trade shifts. “It means that when the United States investigates countries that pose a direct risk, they fear that those manufacturers will switch to Vietnam. Therefore, when investigating trade remedies, they will include Vietnam in the investigation list. This explains why some products such as coat hangers and honey also face lawsuits along with other countries", Ms. Thao said.

In addition to trade defence risks, according to Ms. Thao, recently Vietnamese enterprises had also faced an increase in many fraudulent tricks, especially contracts, international payment terms... Therefore, Vietnamese export enterprises should pay attention to learning and updating US legal regulations, especially regulations that had a significant impact on market access such as trade defence regulations, epidemic prevention hygiene, technical standards, origin or regulations related to labour use standards... Besides, enterprises should be careful in finding partners and negotiating contracts. It is necessary to use legal consulting services to have quality information to assess the financial situation, the reliability of US partners, and closely follow the delivery process...

To respond to trade defence lawsuits, Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said that enterprises must put aside fear and be proactive and serious in participating in cases. In addition to information related to technical criteria and market access, it was necessary to proactively learn about basic regulations on trade defence in those countries. Enterprises must also regularly monitored and updated market information.

By Ngoc Linh/ Binh Minh

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