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US department announces preliminary rulings on Vietnamese steel

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has announced preliminary rulings on the circumvention inquiries into Vietnamese cold-rolled steel (CRS) and corrosion-resistant steel (CORE) exports made from materials imported from Chinese Taiwan and the Republic of Korea (RoK).
A steel mill in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

According to the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam (TRAV), the US initiated the investigations on August 2, 2018, after it had imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on CRS and CORE products from Taiwan and the RoK since 2016.

The DOC said certain steel products were first produced in the RoK and Taiwan, which were then shipped to Vietnam for minor processing, and finally exported to the US as CORE and CRS.

The department will temporarily apply circumvention measures against imports of CRS and CORE produced in Vietnam using Korean- or Taiwanese-origin substrate by collecting cash deposits on them. The applicable cash deposit rates depend on the origin of the substrate and the type of steel product exported to the US.

However, as these are circumvention probes into products with substrate hailing from the RoK and Taiwan, the CRS and CORE products made from materials of Vietnam or other countries and territories will not be subject to those duties, the TRAV noted.

The authority said during the investigations, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade has coordinated closely with the Vietnam Steel Association and involved businesses to provide information as requested by the US side. It has also recommended companies devise suitable business strategies, especially switching to using materials made in Vietnam or sources other than the RoK and Taiwan.

The ministry will continue working with relevant parties in the next stages of the investigations to protect rights and legitimate interests of companies, ensure the adherence to legal regulations and the World Trade Organisation’s agreements, and prevent circumventing acts and origin fraud, according to the TRAV.

The DOC is expected to announce the final rulings in September this year.