In a recent move to combat U.S companies avoiding
the trade war between China, The U.S Commerce Department have imposed duties of
over 400% on steel that has been imported from Vietnam, and have accused some
American businesses of rerouting shipments from the Southeast Asian nation, to
purposefully evade the levies that have been placed on China.
In the first three preliminary circumvention prevention rulings on Vietnamese
steel, the Commerce Department have said that products that are being produced
in Korea and China were being routed to Vietnam for ‘minor processing’ before
being exported to U.S soil as corrosion resistant steel products and other
steel products. Custom Officials at ports in the U.S have been given clear
instructions to actively collect cash deposits at rates of over 400% on
imported steel that originate in Vietnam.
The U.S is strengthening its position against Vietnam, who is one of their
major trading partners, and an economy who is seeing direct benefits from the
Trump Administrations trade war with China. When U.S President Trump was
questioned last week regarding his views about placing import tariffs on the
nation Trump described the country as "almost the single-worst abuser of
Asia Pacific Chief economist at ING Bank Rob Carnell said in a recent interview
that it is no surprise that many companies will try to route their products
through other countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia, "It’s a no-brainer," he
said. "You increase the cost and people are going to try and find a way to
avoid it. It’s human nature." In another recent case revealed by U.S customs,
six American companies are under investigation for their alleged involvement
trying to circumvent anti-dumping duties, while importing and misclassifying
Chinese made Carbon pipe fittings, and routing the import through Cambodia.
Vietnam have been very prominent in their current position to reduce its trade
surplus with the U.S and are currently implementing measures to reduce Chinese
manufacturers rerouting their goods through the countries ports, for exportation
to the U.S in a bid to avoid paying such high tariffs on their importation. The
U.S embassy in Hanoi, have said that this week they are holding talks with
officials in the country, and hope to come to an agreement in the near future.
They are looking for Vietnam to take drastic steps to address the issues
surrounding the bypassing of the tariffs.