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MOIT considers response to US steel tariffs

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) is closely following developments in the case and considering all settlement measures in order to protect the legitimate rights of Vietnamese businesses, said the MOIT’s Department of Trade Defence.

                                 
Steel and aluminium imports from Vietnam only account for a negligible share of the US’ total steel and aluminium imports, therefore causing no damage to the US steel and aluminium industries

Concerning the US Department of Commerce (DOC)’s report, released on February 16 and submitted to the US President for consideration and decision on the application of measures to restrict the imports of steel and aluminium products, the Department of Trade Defence stated that it has coordinated with the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) and with the businesses and units concerned, both at home and abroad, to discuss, share information, and respond to the case.

The department stated that steel and aluminium imports from Vietnam only account for a negligible share of the US’ total steel and aluminium imports. So, the MOIT asks that the US Government carefully consider the application of restrictions on Vietnam-originated steel and aluminium imports, aiming to ensure compliance with regulations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and international practises, and to avoid affecting the sound development of trade ties between the two countries.

After receiving the DOC’s report, the US President will consider it and issue his final decision on whether or not to follow through with the tariffs, as well as on the level of restriction measures to be applied on steel (before April 11, 2018) and aluminium (before April 19) imports.

Regarding this issue, the VSA can possibly recommend reporting the case to the WTO (when necessary). The association is currently working with the agencies and businesses concerned to work out a timely response, aiming to mitigate the risks for Vietnam’s steel firms.

Currently, the association and enterprises still hope that through the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between the two countries, the Vietnamese Government can ask the US side not to apply the aforementioned import restriction measures.

Theo NDO