VietNamNet Bridge – The Competition Administration Department (CAD) has reported
to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) that it is analyzing Thai and
Indonesian petitions to apply anti-dumping measures against Vietnam’s steel
exports to the markets.
Indonesia has raised a lawsuit against the cold rolled sheet and galvanized
steel sheet imports from Vietnam. Meanwhile, Thailand has sent a letter to the
Vietnam Steel Association, warning about a possible lawsuit to be raised to
protect the steel manufacturers in the country.
As such, the warnings about the installation of non-tariff barriers to prevent
steel products from Vietnam to enter South East Asian countries have nearly come
The warnings have come true
In September 2012, South Korean Posco Group, which has a cold rolled steel mill
(1.2 million tons a year) and a cold rolled stainless steel mill (235,000 tons a
year) sent a letter to Vietnamese competent agencies, suggesting applying the
non-tariff barriers to prevent the steel products from other markets.
Vietnamese steel manufacturers have seen their products selling very slowly due
to the oversupply. Meanwhile, the domestic products have to compete fiercely
with the imports which enjoy the low import tariff of five percent.
At that time, Posco gave a warning that other ASEAN countries including
Indonesia, Thailand have installed the non-tariff barriers to prevent steel
products from Vietnam.
However, Vietnam still had not done any thing until it heard that Indonesia’s
KPPI decided to undertake a trade safeguard investigation against the cold
rolled steel products imported from Vietnam and other four countries.
Meanwhile, the Thai Association of galvanized metal and coating color has sent a
letter, warning about the possibility of a lawsuit against the sharp increase of
Vietnam’s galvanized steel exports to the market.
In the former case, Posco, which has the highest amount of steel exports to the
market, would be the main target of the plaintiff. Meanwhile, in the latter one,
Ton Hoa Sen is believed to have the biggest related benefits.
Posco was once the defendant in the lawsuit raised by the US association of tube
steel manufacturers in 2012. However, Posco and Hong Nguyen, the second
defendant in the lawsuit, successfully proved that it did not dump in the US.
Therefore, it still can export steel products to the US at the zero percent
anti-dumping tax rate. Meanwhile, the defendants from other countries in the
same lawsuit have been charged the anti-dumping tax rate of 28 percent.
Vietnam fears it may lose export markets
Indonesia is clearly a smaller market than the US, while it remains a new market
for Posco and some other small manufacturers. Therefore, analysts believe that
the lawsuit would not seriously affect the manufacturers’ production.
However, Nguyen Tien Nghi, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam Steel Association, said
it always is very costly to develop a new market. Therefore, if Posco and other
manufacturers lose the market, this would be bad news for them.
Sources have said that KPPI does not intend to make compromise with the
exporters, and that it would be not easy to obtain such a good result like the
one occurred with the lawsuit in the US market.
KPPI has imposed the high anti-dumping tax rate of 36.6 percent on the
structural cold rolled steel imported from Vietnam and some other countries,
which has make it stuck to bring the products to the market.