US probe into Vietnam plywood imports should be fair: Spokesperson

Vietnam remains steadfast on pursuing bilateral economic relations with the US towards harmonization and sustainability, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Vietstock – Any possible US probe into plywood imports from Vietnam should be fair, according to Le Thi Thu Hang, spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

“Such an investigation should take into account international and World Trade Organization (WTO) practices, as well as the sound economic – trade relations between Vietnam and the US,” Hang said at a press conference on June 11, adding it needs to ensure rightful benefits of law-compliant enterprises and customers from the two countries.

Hang noted bilateral trade turnover in 2019 hit nearly US$76 billion, up 26.2% year-on-year.

Vietnam remains steadfast on enhancing bilateral trade – economic – investment relations with the US towards building harmonious, sustainable and mutually beneficial ties, Hang added.

Hang stated Vietnam is committed to adhering by WTO rules and has been focusing on fighting against trade fraud and the circumvention of customs duties.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese government agencies are actively carrying out their tasks in an interagency project approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in July 2019 to strengthen efforts to circumvent trade remedies and origin fraud.

Reuters previously reported that the US Commerce Department would examine whether hardwood plywood imports assembled in Vietnam using Chinese components circumvented US tariff measures on imports from China.

The department said it was initiating the inquiries in response to requests from the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood, which represents an array of US plywood makers in North Carolina and Oregon.

If the probe shows Vietnamese producers were circumventing existing anti-dumping or countervailing duties, the department said it would instruct US Customs officials to begin collecting cash deposits on plywood from Vietnam.

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