It is essential to enhance steel enterprises’ capacity to cope with the increasing number of trade defence lawsuits as Viet Nam integrates rapidly with robust steel exports.
Steel is among the industries with the highest number of trade defence lawsuits.
In late July, the US Department of Commerce started a duty evasion investigation into steel pipe products imported from Viet Nam.
The Mexican Secretariat of Economy, on July 28, also announced an anti-dumping investigation into cold-rolled steel imported from Viet Nam.
Statistics of the Viet Nam Steel Association showed that the steel industry faced 68 lawsuits from 2004 to July 2022, including 28 in anti-dumping, three anti-subsidy, six anti-dumping and anti-subsidy, and 13 safeguard and eight anti-tax evasion cases.
Despite the pandemic, the steel industry still posted a rise of 11.3 per cent in steel export to reach US$5 billion with a volume of nearly 4.4 million tonnes in the first seven months of this year, in which steel export value to the US accounted for 11.4 per cent.
The association said Vietnamese steel products were expanding rapidly to Europe and America with considerable increases in steel export value, forcing countries to launch trade remedy investigations.
According to the Trade Remedies Authority of Viet Nam, besides EU, the US is a potential market for Vietnamese steel to increase export, which also means that the steel industry will face more investigations from the US.
Lê Triệu Dũng, director of the Trade Remedies Authority of Viet Nam, said that steel had been traditionally facing with trade defence lawsuits because countries wanted to develop their domestic manufacturing industries.
From the viewpoint of enterprises, a representative from Tôn Đông Á Corporation said the imposition of trade defence duties on exported steel products of Viet Nam had significantly affected domestic steel production.
Each enterprise should have a strategy to cope with the investigations, and it was likely that this situation would continue to persist because the trade wars had not yet shown signs of ending, Tôn Đông Á’s representative said.
Industry insider Nguyễn Văn Sưa said many enterprises in the steel industry were of small and medium size and lacked understanding and attention to trade remedies, and dropped into a passive state when being investigated.
Sưa said that it was important for enterprises to build a transparent accounting system and equip them with knowledge about trade defence.
The Viet Nam Steel Association urged steel manufacturers and exporters to focus on building capacity to cope with trade defence investigations.
The Trade Remedies Authority of Viet Nam said that it would coordinate with relevant agencies to improve and effectively operate the trade remedies' early warning system.