Since the U.S.-China trade war in 2018, Chinese firms have relocated production lines to neighboring Vietnam and intentionally mislabeled their products as “made in Vietnam” to avoid U.S.’s high tariffs.
Therefore, the U.S. Department of Commerce has been calling on ASEAN nations to broaden anti-dumping investigations against Chinese goods, including steel.
According to a Radio Free Asia (RFA) report on October 6, Vietnam will impose anti-dumping duty on the table and chair products of Chinese origin this month.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade said that the tariff would range between 21.4% and 35.2%, starting mid-October for the next four months.
The outlet noted that Vietnam is now the world’s fifth biggest wood and wood products exporter, the second largest in Asia, and the best in Southeast Asia.
Last year, Vietnam’s exports of wood and wood products reached $14.12 billion, up 17.6% from a year ago.
Moreover, senior journalist Nga Pham said that the country shipped nearly $1.5 billion worth of timber products to China as its second-largest importer in 2021.
Huynh Tam Sang, a senior lecturer in Ho Chi Minh city, thinks that Vietnam is also imposing a duty on Chinese aluminum products, forcing many domestic plants to shut down and cut staff.
Both experts believe that the Vietnamese government’s latest move is necessary to protect onshore furniture firms since their Chinese counterparts have already undermined the market to a great extent.
Gui Qiwei, a Taiwanese entrepreneur, engaged in global trade in Ho Chi Minh city, told RFA that Vietnamese furniture makers have no more customer orders from the U.S. this year due to bulk orders in 2021.
Thus, the new anti-dumping duty imposed on Chinese furniture will help minimize their damage to the industry.
Gui noted that Chinese firms usually import finished products from their country to Vietnam. Then they will process them lightly and change the labels to “made in Vietnam” before exporting to the U.S. This made the U.S. government pressure the nation to investigate Chinese products.
Over the past three years, Vietnam has initiated anti-dumping policies against various Chinese products, including aluminum, steel, clothing materials, and monosodium glutamate, among many others.