Many products including iron, steel and wood from Vietnam are under an investigation by the US Department of Commerce (DOC) and may be subject to anti-dumping duties.
Dinh Son Hung, former deputy head of the HCMC Institute for Development Studies, said the US side said it decided to investigate products from Vietnam because it suspects they originated from China but were labeled as Vietnamese.
“I am not sure about that, but the move reminds me of an implied threat about a commercial retaliation against China which was conveyed when Donald Trump took office as the new US President,” Dr Nguyen Van Minh, a renowned economist, said when answering Dat Viet’s interview.
Minh recalled moves taken by the US recently to solve the country’s deficit in the trade with China. It has prohibited the import of many harmful products and imposed technical barriers.
|Vietnam will have to pay a heavy price if its products continue to be associated with Chinese, experts warned|
“With the drastic measures applied by the US, Chinese manufacturers will have to evade the blow from the US and ‘borrow’ others’ brands to export products to the US,” Minh commented.
“The reaction by the US DOC shows that it can clearly see the tricks played by Chinese enterprises,” he continued. “This also shows that the US understands the Vietnamese production capacity.”
Both Hung and Minh commented that the probe is ‘not a good thing’ for Vietnam.
“This can be seen as a warning for Vietnam. If it continues following the way of importing materials for domestic production and export, its enterprises won’t be able to develop, while their products will be boycotted,” Hung said.
He went on to say that this must not be right way for sustainable development, if Vietnam continues focusing outsourcing — if it chooses the easier way, rather than the more difficult way which requires heavier investments and greater efforts.
The worrying thing is that the anti-dumping investigations have been taken recently not only by the US and EU, Vietnam’s major export markets, but also by other countries including Canada, Turkey, South Korea, Poland, or Columbia and Peru, where Vietnamese products account for a small proportion. And most of the cases have relations with the Chinese market.
“As the products are labeled as ‘Vietnamese’ products, the reputation of the national brand will be affected,” he warned.
Minh said if Vietnamese enterprises don’t want to be ‘buried in the same hole’ with China, they must apply measures to improve product quality and prove the product origin by increasing the localization ratio to at least 70 percent.