At a factory of the Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Joint Stock Corporation (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese steel producers should follow laws and requirements on origin when exporting their products to the United States, suggested Ho Nghia Dung, Chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association.

Dung made the advice after the US Department of Commerce (DoC) decided to levy import tax on steel produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate.

Statistics showed that the Vietnam’s steel exports to the US were reduced from more than 900,000 tonnes in 2016 to 500,000 tonnes in 2017.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue to collect anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) cash deposits on imports of corrosion-resistant steel (CORE) produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate at the rate of 199.43 percent and 39.05 percent, respectively.

CBP will also collect AD and CVD cash deposits on imports of cold-rolled steel produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate at the rate of 199.76 percent and 256.44 percent, respectively. Dung said the Vietnam’s steel exports to the US will be sharply reduced with the decision.

After the DoC’s decision, VSA’s members have been quick to seek material for steel production from other countries or local ones instead of importing from China.

He said a big amount of hot rolled steel – the material for colour coated steel and galvanised steel production - was provided into the market after Formosa came into operation.

The amount of imported steel from China in the first quarter of the year was 1.1 million tonnes, half as much from the same period last year and a 29 percent decrease in term of value.

The US, however, is still the third largest steel importer of Vietnam despite of the tax levy. In the first three months of the year, the amount of steel exports to the US reached 217,000 tonnes, accounting for 15 percent of Vietnam’s total steel exports.

The chairman said the country’s steel sector has seen strong growth of construction steel and flat steel. Vietnam has been able to produce construction steel products, from ore, steel scrap to hot rolled steel. Previously, Vietnam had to import hot rolled steel from foreign countries including China, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

VSA said they cooperated with ministries, sectors and businesses to clarify two issues relating to DoC’s investigation on steel produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate.

They said that not all Vietnamese steel originates from China. In addition, Vietnam has been investing in large and modern scales of final production stages to produce galvanised and cold rolled steel.

The latest information from the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) revealed that the DoC will remove the tax levy on Vietnamese steel exporters if they prove that their products were not used material from China.

The ministry will continue to cooperate with relevant steel producers to resolve the requirements from the DoC.

Chu Thang Trung, deputy director of the ministry’s Department of Trade Defence, said they suggested producers study and meet conditions from the DoC to be exempted from the tax levy.

The ministry has closely cooperated with VSA and businesses to follow the case from the initiating of the investigation in June 2016.

MoIT asked the DoC to implement investigations objectively and in line with WTO’s regulations as well as the US’s norms. They also asked the DoC not to impose the tax on Vietnamese steel exporters.

VSA and Vietnamese steel producers have also closely worked with the US side to clarify the material origin for steel production in Vietnam. — VNA