Turn "risk" into "opportunity" before trade defense barriers

VCN - The rapid growth of exports in recent years has shown the production capacity of Vietnamese enterprises in many industries, and Vietnamese goods have penetrated and gained a foothold in many markets. However, when exports are large and competitive, there is an increased risk of trade defense measures being applied.
Optimize integration efficiency with trade defense tools Optimize integration efficiency with trade defense tools
Trade defense tools strengthened in CPTPP member countries Trade defense tools strengthened in CPTPP member countries
Increasing trade defense tools in the CPTPP member countries Increasing trade defense tools in the CPTPP member countries
When exports are large and competitive, there is an increased risk of applying trade defense measures. Photo: N.H
When exports are large and competitive, there is an increased risk of applying trade defense measures. Photo: N.H

Increased exposure to trade remedies

According to the Trade Defense Agency, as the production and export capacity of our country's economy is growing, Vietnam's exported goods are also increasingly facing investigations and foreign trade defense measures.

In 2023, Vietnam's exported goods are the subject of 12 trade defense investigation cases, in addition to many cases that are continuing to be investigated and annual review cases and end-of-term reviews. Regarding the fight against evasion of trade defense measures and origin fraud, up to now, Vietnam's exported goods have faced 37 cases of investigation against evasion of foreign trade defense measures, of which in 2023 alone there will be 4 cases including items with large export turnover such as solar batteries, aluminum cables, steel traction wheels, and cold-rolled stainless steel.

Mr. Chu Thang Trung, Deputy Director of the Trade Remedies Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), said that trade remedies are a very common measure frequently applied by economies and WTO member countries in exchanges of global trade. When participating in global trade, we need to identify that investigation and application of trade defense measures in the importing country is an inevitable trend that may be encountered. However, depending on each product, industry or export market, the possibility of being investigated and applying trade defense measures is different.

From a business perspective, Mr. Vu Van Phu, Vice President and General Secretary of the Vietnam Aluminum Association, said that since the beginning of the year, the aluminum industry has continuously faced four trade defense cases, which caused Vietnamese businesses to be under a lot of pressure, especially when Vietnam's aluminum industry is still young and its experience in responding to and participating in trade defense cases is still limited.

Mr. Chu Thang Trung informed that when Vietnam's export turnover increases at a very rapid pace, the problem is determining how to handle and support businesses in responding to important trade defense investigations with concentration on high-risk export industries. Therefore, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has built an Early Warning System, thereby collecting and analyzing information about the growth rate of Vietnam's export turnover and market share in the import market, at the same time assessing the risk of being investigated and applying trade defense measures.

The protest work achieved positive results

Currently, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has updated monitoring of over 170 products, including an early warning list for 18 products at risk of being investigated and subject to trade defense measures to help ministries, branches, localities, and businesses proactively respond to foreign trade defense measures and proactively build production and export strategies and prepare resources; develop a response plan to help minimize negative impacts caused by foreign trade defense measures.

According to the Trade Remedies Department, despite facing many difficulties and challenges such as: investigated products are increasingly diverse, the scope of investigation is increasingly expanding, the investigation process is increasingly strict, some countries have not yet recognized Vietnam as a full market economy, but the appeal work in 2023 has also achieved very positive results.

For example, the United States concluded that Vietnamese stainless steel wire does not evade the trade defense tax applicable to Korea; some steel pipe products do not avoid trade defense taxes being applied to Taiwan (China); Vietnam's large solar panel enterprises do not avoid tax and temporarily exempt these 46 items. The Vietnamese Government does not subsidize reviewed tire export enterprises in 2021; The Philippines reduced anti-dumping taxes on cement compared to the previous tax order; Australia ends anti-dumping investigation of ammonium nitrate; Mexico assessed that Vietnam's galvanized steel industry operates according to the market mechanism and reduced anti-dumping taxes on galvanized steel in the final conclusion compared to the previous preliminary conclusion...

The above results were achieved due to the efforts of state agencies in early warning of goods at risk of investigation; provide information to businesses about investigation processes and response scenarios; coordinate with relevant associations and businesses in discussions with foreign investigation agencies to protect and support Vietnam's export industry to be treated fairly in accordance with the regulations of the World Trade Organization, ensuring the legitimate rights of Vietnamese export enterprises.

To improve the effectiveness of early warning work as well as better support businesses and organizations in responding to trade defense measures in foreign markets, Mr. Chu Thang Trung said that he will continue to equip and improve knowledge about trade defense for businesses. In particular, based on information from the early warning system, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will work directly with associations and localities to share knowledge and information on trade remedies. At the same time, continue to update early warning information in new markets where trade defense measures may appear.

By Ngoc Linh/Bui Diep

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