Thứ Ba, 19 tháng 7, 2016

Vietnam eyes enforcement unit to counter unfair trade

Anti-dumping, countervailing and special safeguard measures are effectively used by countries around the world to foster and protect commerce and other national interests, say leading economic experts.

vietnam eyes enforcement unit to counter unfair trade hinh 0

At the same time using these WTO trade policy instruments is technically challenging, said Nguyen Phuong Nam, deputy head of the Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA), at a recent business forum in Hanoi. 

Most notably, they require a significant amount of awareness on the part of the public and private sectors, expert assistance, methodological work and money to prosecute, said Mr Nam.
Nonetheless, it is vitally important that such work be implemented by public authorities and interested companies in a comprehensive, organized and thorough manner to keep international trading on a fair basis and protect the nation’s producers.
As it relates to awareness of the private sector, Mr Nam said, Vietnamese businesses, by and large, lack even a basic understanding and the experience necessary to identify instances of dumping and discriminatory measures of regulation by foreign companies and governments.
He pointed to a study last year by the Vietnam Chamber Commerce and Industry that shows 980 out of 1,000 local business men and women surveyed had little to no knowledge of anti-dumping measures or their application.
Vu Van Thanh, deputy general director of Hoa Sen Group, in turn said the country’s experience in initiating antidumping or other safeguard measures to protect the market has not been very extensive and not as broad as in other large economies.
To give some qualitative parameters, Mr Thanh pointed out that over the past decade the country has only applied safeguard duties in four instances and anti-dumping tariffs in two others.
Meanwhile, there were around 100 cases for which these measures were levied on producers in the country, he emphasized, and many more complaints instituted.
The immediate concern, said the Deputy Head of the VCA, is to devise a mechanism to protect the nations smallholder farmers and other businesses from the damaging effects of unfair trade practices brought about by the emergence of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and other free trade agreements (FTAs).
Small farmers in Vietnam are particularly vulnerable, meaning that even temporary loss of income brought about by unfair trade practices can have severe negative effects on them, said Mr Nam.
As the country reduces its trade barriers as a result of these agreements, farmers will increasingly become more vulnerable to external agricultural market instability and to harmful import surges.
He underlined that some experts recently estimated that national income gains from the AEC and other FTAs would be relatively modest in Vietnam while employment losses and increased inequality would result from increased competition forcing businesses to drop wages and shed employees.
These outcomes would likely be partly due to losses of jobs and production in fishing, livestock, and agriculture. Given that half of the population in Vietnam still works in these segments of the economy, this could lead to considerable hardship.
For these reasons, Mr Nam said, it is imperative that the government in concert with the private sector devise and implement a trade enforcement unit to implement safeguard measures to effectively protect domestic producers and the national interest.

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