US Claims VN Steel Evades Tax

18 October 2016

The Vi?t Nam Steel Association will protect the interests of local firms after Vietnamese steel exporters were accused of tax evasion in the United States, said the association’s vice chairman, Nguy?n V?n S?a.

S?a told the Vietnam News Agency that the association would collaborate with enterprises and State management agencies to assure that appropriate measures meet all international regulations.

The Vietnam Competition Authority reported that, on September 27, four US steelmakers filed a case against Vietnamese exporters, claiming that they sold cheap steel imported from China to avoid anti-dumping and countervailing duties slapped on Chinese products.

The authority, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, identified the US companies as ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, United States Steel Corporation, and AK Steel Corporation.

They submitted the case to the US Department of Commerce (DOC), asking this agency to launch anti-dumping and countervailing investigations into cold rolled steel (CRS) imports from Vi?t Nam.

The authority said the US levied an anti-dumping tax rate of 199.76 per cent and a countervailing tax rate of 256.44 per cent on CRS imports from China last May.

This came after the US probed CRS imports from China, Brazil, India, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Russia and the United Kingdom in August 2015.

The US companies said that since the duties were imposed, the volume of CRS from China to the US had sharply declined, while the quantity of similar products from Vi?t Nam to this market had significantly increased.

The firms said they had sufficient evidence proving that Chinese CRS products had been exported to Vi?t Nam before they were shipped to the US.

According to US regulations, the DOC will consider whether to investigate the case within 45 days and issue a final decision within 300 days after collecting all testimony.

Meanwhile, S?a, from the steel association, said that while the DOC had yet to release an official decision, many US entrepreneurs had ceased orders for Vietnamese CRS products, and this had caused difficulties for many domestic steel firms.

L?i Quang Trung, head of the Vi?t Nam Steel Corporation’s market planning department, said the companies which faced obstacles in exporting products would have to seek other means to boost sales in the local market.

As domestic production capacity currently exceeds local demand for steel, price competition might occur and impact on business operations of enterprises, he said.

In the meantime, the steel association recommended its member companies sharpen their competitiveness by improving the quality of products, reducing production costs and upgrading production technology.


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