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Exports face trade defence measures

Tan KW
Publish date: Fri, 01 Dec 2023, 08:33 AM
Tan KW
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HANOI: The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has brought competitive advantages to Vietnamese export products, but these goods have also faced the imposition of trade defence measures in CPTPP markets, according to experts.

Vietnam’s exports to CPTPP member markets in the Americas have grown strongly since the CPTPP came into effect in 2018.

Bui Tuan Hoan, head of the Americas Division, Department of Europe - America Market, Industry and Trade Ministry, said at a seminar on reducing trade defence risks when increasing exports to the CPTPP market held by the Cong Thuong (Industry and Trade) Magazine early this week.

There are four American countries participating in the CPTPP, including Canada, Mexico, Peru, and Chile.

Of these, excluding Chile, which has a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam, Canada, Mexico and Peru are three markets that have an FTA with Vietnam for the first time within the framework of the CPTPP, so the tariff incentives in the CPTPP have enabled Vietnam to achieve impressive growth in export value to these markets.

In 2021, Vietnam’s exports to the four CPTPP countries in the Americas reached more than US$12bil, including US$5.3bil from exports to Canada, 75% higher than before having the agreement. Meanwhile, the export value to Mexico rose by 105% to US$4.6bil compared to that before having the CPTPP.

Exports also surged by 85% to US$560mil to Peru and 63% to US$1.7bil to Chile.

However, Phung Gia Duc, deputy head of the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam addressing foreign trade defence processing, said that many CPTPP member countries are investigating trade defence cases involving Vietnamese products.

Statistics show that Australia has initiated 18 cases so far, and Canada and Malaysia over 10 cases.

The most vulnerable and likely-to-be-investigated products are those with rapid and strong growth, he continued, adding that the principle to initiate such a lawsuit is an increase in imports.

Vu Van Phu, vice-chairperson and general secretary of the Vietnam Aluminium Association, said that as trade defence measures in the world and in Vietnam are increasing, aluminium enterprises have begun to pay attention and change their perception of related risks.

In addition to taking the tariff incentives of FTAs, businesses in the aluminium industry need to study carefully the export markets, including trade defence measures.

At the same time, to reduce the risk of imposing trade defence measures in the export markets, they should build a strategy on diversifying export markets and products.

They need support in connecting supply and demand, expanding markets, and avoiding dependence on a single market when facing trade defence investigations, Phu said.

Duc held that such cases will grow rapidly in the time to come. Therefore, businesses must regularly update changes in foreign laws.

The Industry and Trade Ministry will frequently organise dialogues on the issue with foreign investigation agencies.

The Vietnamese government will protect Vietnamese enterprises but will also resolutely guard against businesses evading trade defence measures through illegal imports or origin evasion, he affirmed.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese manufacturing and exporting enterprises need preparation and guidance to respond appropriately in case of being investigated by member countries of the agreement or having trade remedies applied.

In addition, the authorities need to increase information dissemination and early warning of risks to help businesses avoid the risks of investigation or minimise the impact of being investigated for trade remedies.

Therefore, export growth is more sustainable, taking advantage of opportunities from the CPTPP agreement in the new context.

 - ANN

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