VCN- Until now, Vietnam's exports have been initiated trade defense investigations in over 160 cases. Whilethe total number of cases Vietnam actively initiated a trade defense investigation with imported goods wasonly 16.
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According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the trend of increasing investigations and applications of trade protection measures has not decreased. In the first quarter of 2020, the number of cases initiating trade defense investigations increased compared to the same period in 2019.
Specifically, Vietnam has recorded two cases of initiating new investigations, two cases receiving applications but has not initiated investigations (while in the same period of 2019, only one case was investigated).
Previously, in 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Trade received and handled 165 foreign trade defense cases applied to Vietnam, including 93 anti-dumping cases, 18 anti-subsidy cases, 21 cases of tax evasion, as well as 33 cases of self-defense.
The cases that initiated investigations into Vietnamese exports came from 19 countries and territories. Among them, the countries initiating the most investigation are the United States, Turkey, India and the EU.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that Vietnam's trade defense legislation has been enacted15 years ago, before Vietnam officially joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).
However, in the last five years, Vietnam has been truly proactive in using the legal instrument allowed by the WTO and Free Trade Agreements (FTA). Particularly, since 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has initiated investigations of 16 trade defense cases; in which are 10 anti-dumping investigations and six safeguard investigations.
Thereby, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has decided to apply 13 trade remedies on imported goods. Commodities are subject to the measures of steel, fertilizer, plastic, textile and foodstuffs. These are mostly commodities that play an important role and are the backbone in the economy of each country.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, there are many problems in dealing with Vietnamese goods being sued for trade remedies.
Typically, data collection and understanding of the current state of the domestic manufacturing industry in service of trade remedies are still difficult due to limited information and the coordination of many stakeholders. In addition, there aren’t enough trade defense survey officers, most of them are young and their experience is limited.
Recently, due to the complicated situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, the process of investigating cases (such as on-the-spot inspection of enterprises) has affected the progress.
Talking to the Customs Newspaper reporter, Mr. Le Trieu Dung, Director of the Department of Trade Defense (Ministry of Industry and Trade), said that in the context of increasing protectionism, to minimize the possibility of applying trade remedies needs a long-term, comprehensive strategy for developing production chains and increasing value for Vietnam's exports.
Besides, even if Vietnam develops its production chain (for example insteel and aluminum), if Vietnam's exports increase rapidly and suddenly, outside of evasive measures, not eliminating the possibility that the importing country will conduct anti-dumping and subsidy investigations with Vietnamese products as previously done with some other countries.
“Therefore, in addition to focusing on in-depth development (increasing domestic added value), Vietnam also needs to closely monitor for early warnings if our exports into some markets increase rapidly. It is necessary to have a close cooperation between the Ministry of Industry and Trade and concerned ministries and branches, especially the General Department of Customs (Ministry of Finance),” Mr. Dung said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade acknowledges that in the future, it is necessary to have a more effective coordination mechanism among the concerned agencies in the investigation process such as developing and connecting the updated data system of import and export situation between the Ministry Industry and Trade and General Department of Customs (Ministry of Finance); monitoring changes in price and import volume of some key products.
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At the same time, maintain regular contact between state management agencies and industry associations. It is necessary to strengthen the capacity of enumerators and supplement human resources to ensure the effectiveness of the investigation.
By Thanh Nguyen/ Phuong Thao