Vietnam weighs measures to avoid antidumping duties on apparel to U.S.
Vietnamese trade officials indicated over the weekend that the Southeast Asian nation may step up controls of apparel exports to the United States to stave off the threat of antidumping measures, Thanh Nien Daily reported Sunday.
An official with the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Vietnam told the newspaper that makers of key apparel items would have to apply directly for certificates of origins, a compulsory document for exporters to clear customs. Currently, the certificates are granted to all apparel exporters automatically.
“If monitors find any problems with CO applications, the applicants' products would not be granted customs clearance for export to the U.S.,” the report said. “The nine categories to be monitored include knit shirts and blouses, non-knit shirts and blouses, sweaters, trousers, breeches, shorts and underwear.”
The goal behind the control of exports is to stem the dropping price of Vietnamese apparel exports, a drop that could precipitate action from the U.S. Commerce Department. U.S. apparel manufacturers have been pressuring the department to enact antidumping and countervaling duties on such imports from Vietnam. The newspaper said Commerce statistics showed that the price of several apparel categories from Vietnam were lower in 2008 than in 2007.
“Men's cotton knit shirts, for instance, fell from $46.86 to $45.24 a dozen, while women's cotton knit shirts went from $36.26 to $34.83 a dozen year-on-year,” the newspaper said.
Apparel exports from Vietnam have been on the rise since the country gained entry to the World Trade Organization in January 2007. Vietnam has also benefited from the shifting of production from South China, where labor and land costs have risen, as well as the fact that the Vietnamese dong has lost value to the dollar, compared to the Chinese yuan, which has gained on the dollar.