The Vietnam Timber and Forest Production Association (VIFORES) has called on the forestry industry to keep a close eye on US-China trade war developments in order to be able to respond quickly.
VIFORES Vice Chairman Nguyen Ton Quyen said Vietnam’s wood export to the US accounted for 30 percent of the total forestry shipment value in the first half, or over 4.3 billion USD. Signals of export to the US remain stable and exporters have signed contracts for the rest of the year.
He predicted that if the US adds China’s wooden furniture into the list of commodities subject to higher import tariff, Chinese firms are likely to transfer goods to Vietnam to change their origin and seek exports.
Huynh Quang Thanh, President of the Binh Duong Furniture Association and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hiep Long Wooden Furniture Company, forecast that wood products for export would meet difficulties in the near future, especially regarding those originating from China.
Wooden furniture enterprises, especially those in Binh Duong, are staying active in the process of manufacturing, market research, and export so the full impact of the US-China trade war remains uncertain.
There are some concerns that Chinese wooden furniture producers will flood into Vietnam to build or relocate their manufacturing plants, making it easier for them to attain a Vietnam origin certification for their products, as well as enjoying incentives brought about by free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed with countries and organisations worldwide, and advantages in low workforce cost.
If wooden furniture exports to the US increase by 15-20 percent in the near future, the US government is very likely to impose an anti-dumping tax on them, posing difficulties to Vietnamese wood manufacturers, he said.
Thanh added that the association has asked its member units to improve manufacturing and corporate governance capacity, as well as modernising its equipment to enhance competitiveness.
Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Cao Chi Cong assured that the MARD and Ministry of Industry and Trade have devised measures to disallow businesses from China or other countries to consider Vietnam a transit of wooden furniture for export to the US. –VNA