Vietnamese steel industry has faced rough seas recently when it has to deal with anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures from foreign markets. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Improving competitive capacity to expand export markets and understanding of international trade regulations are significant for Vietnamese steel firms to respond to trade defence lawsuits in the context of growing protectionism, said Chairman of Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) Ho Nghia Dung.

Vietnamese steel industry has faced rough seas recently when it has to deal with anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures from such countries as the US, Canada, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Statistics from the VSA showed that local steel products were the target of 30 anti-dumping lawsuits among 124 trade remedy lawsuits against Vietnamese exports in 2017.

Most recently, the Indonesian Anti-Dumping Committee announced the application of anti-dumping measures on colour-coated steel sheet imports from Vietnam, with tariffs ranging from 12.01 percent to 28.49 percent on the products for five years.

In June, some US steel producers lodged a request to the Department of Commerce (DOC) to ask for investigations into and application of measures to prevent the evasion of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tax against corrosion-resistant carbon steel imported from Vietnam.

Chairman Dung said that tariff barriers hamper the export of Vietnamese steel as steel products become less competitive in foreign markets.

“In 2016, Vietnam shipped over 900,000 tonnes of steel to the US; however, the amount fell to 500,000 tonnes in 2017. Actually, exports are affected not only after taxes are levied but also when initiation of anti-dumping duty investigation is launched,” Dung said.

Officials from the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam under the Ministry of Industry and Trade recommended local businesses to diversify export markets and products while improving product quality and relying less on price-based competition.

According to Nguyen Thanh Trung, General Director of the Dong A Steel JSC, his company has invested in advanced technology to produce top quality products as the main solution to respond to safeguard measures taken by foreign countries.

Vietnam’s steel industry has considerable potential to reach a production growth rate of 22 percent and expand export markets this year. As of April, 2018, Vietnam shipped 1.9 million tonnes of steel products abroad and earned more than 1.4 billion USD in revenue, year-on-year surges of 43 percent and 61 percent in volume and value, respectively.

The ASEAN remained the key export market as it consumed 1.1 million tonnes of Vietnamese steel, making up over 57 percent of total exports. It was followed by the US (15.2 percent), the EU (10 percent), the Republic of Korea (4.1 percent), and Taiwan (3.3 percent).-VNA