Firms urged to up use of trade remedies

Friday, Jun 03, 2016 08:51

Steel products of Hoa Phat Group. Steel is one of the industries which should increase the use of trade defence instruments, experts say. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

 HA NOI (Biz Hub) – After more than 10 years of enforcing trade remedies laws, the number of trade investigations that Viet Nam initiated against imported products were finally able to be counted on one hand, heard a conference yesterday.

Viet Nam launched four cases of safeguard investigation and two cases of anti-dumping investigations. No anti-subsidy investigation has been initiated, to date.

In comparison, Vietnamese products face roughly 100 trade defence investigations from foreign markets.

"The application of trade defence instruments by Vietnamese firms remains modest," Pham Chau Giang, head of the Investigation Department under the Viet Nam Competition Authority (VCA), said at the conference held by the VCA in collaboration with Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

"Local firms are still passive in using trade remedies although these instruments, allowed by the World Trade Organistion (WTO), were considered to be effective in protecting local production amid international integration," she said.

Giang said that the awareness of businesseses was low while the roles of industry associations had not been promoted.

Taking the steel industry as an example, Giang said that Viet Nam imported 1.9 million tonnes of steel ingots last year, coupled with the local production capacity of 7.5 million tonnes, exceeding local demand which was estimated at 6.2 million tonnes.

"If trade remedies are not applied, local production will be pushed into difficulty," she said.

According to Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of VCCI's WTO Centre, steel was the product that caused Viet Nam to launch three out of six trade defence investigations.

Trang said that the problem was that the human and financial resources of local businesses remained limited and trade defence was seemingly an instrument of firms holding controlling market shares.

In order to promote the application of trade defence instruments, Pham Tat Thang from the Ministry of Industry and trade said that Vietnamese businesses must enhance their knowledge on trade remedies and should get prepared in resources to be capable of using these instruments.

In addition, trade remedies laws should be revised to ensure consistency with the amended laws on investment, enterprise, import-export tax and customs, Thang said.

Trade defence investigations initiated by Viet Nam against imported products (according to WTO Centre):

- Anti-dumping investigation against cold rolled stainless steel imported from mainland China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan filed on June 5, 2013

- Anti-dumping investigation against plated steel imported from mainland China, Hong Kong and Korea filed on December 24, 2015

- Safeguard investigation against billet steel and long steel filed on December 25

- Safeguard investigation against monosodium glutamate filed on June 6, 2015

- Safeguard investigation against vegetable oil filed on November 30, 2012

- Safeguard investigation against float glass filed on May 25, 2009. — VNS

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