VietNamNet Bridge – While Vietnamese exporters have had to cope with a slew of trade safeguard and anti-dumping lawsuits abroad, few domestic enterprises have made use of trade defense measures to protect them from the rising influx of foreign goods.



Illustrative image -- File photo



The underuse of trade defense measures by local enterprises is shown by a survey released by the WTO Center under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on Wednesday.

According to the survey, domestic goods exporters have had to deal with 70 safeguard and anti-dumping probes in overseas markets so far. Foreign companies have won 36 cases.

The number of anti-subsidy investigations into enterprises in Vietnam is seven, with four cases decided in favor of foreign companies. Of 17 safeguard probes, foreign companies have won six.  

Meanwhile, Vietnam has launched one anti-dumping, one trade defense and three safeguard investigations into imported products by October this year. However, the country has decided to impose trade defense measures in only two cases.

Most of 1,000 Vietnamese firms involved in the survey said imported goods were sold at low prices on the domestic market. Nearly 70% of respondents said foreign businesses could offer very low prices as they got subsidies from their governments or they intentionally did that to gain domestic market share.

Nearly one-third of enterprises said some foreign firms sold their products in Vietnam at prices below those on home markets. But some 86% of respondents said they are financially incapable of filing lawsuits while only 2% said raising funds is not a big problem.

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of the WTO Center, said local enterprises are not ready to take necessary trade defense measures to protect themselves.

According to Trang, some enterprises said it is not difficult to raise funds to follow trade lawsuits because they have not set aside funds in preparation for trade lawsuits.

The Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association asked if taxi associations in Hanoi, HCMC and Haiphong could file lawsuits against GrabTaxi as it offered low taxi fares in Vietnam or not. Loan said trade defense measures are applied to goods but not services.  

Vietnam has signed 10 free trade agreements (FTAs) with 22 partners and eight of them have taken effect. Trang said these FTAs require signatories to remove tariff barriers, so the Vietnamese market has to be opened to imported goods. The country pledged to reduce one-third of tariff lines when joining the WTO while pledging to exempt 80-90% of tariff lines for other trade pacts.