On June 15, 2020, The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of The Philippines noticed of the initiation of a preliminary safeguard measures investigation on the importation of Aluminum Zinc (Galvalume) steel from various countries.

 

The Petition is Sonic Steel Industries Inc, they alleged that serious injury to the domestic industry was caused by the increased import volume of the said products wich are classified under HS Code: 7210.61.11, 7210.61.19, 9210.61.91, 7210.61.92, 7210.61.99, 7210.69.11, 7210.69.19, 7210.69.91, 7210.69.99, 7212.50.19, 7212.50.23, 7212.50.24, 7212.50.29, 7212.50.93, 7210.50.94 and 7212.50.99.

The period of investigation is from 2014 to 2018. Under evidence of DTI, from 2104 to 2015, Galvalume Steel quantity imports into the Philippines increased by more than 3000%; from 2015 to 2016, this number is 300%, 7%, and 20% for the next 2 years. 

Follow the table of the share of imports by Country, Vietnam contributed a significant amount of imports in the period from 2014 to 2017, then gradually decreased in 2018 and 2019. Galvalume imports from Vietnam accounted for only 0.4% and 0.5% in 2018 and 2019 (according to the Philippines Bureau of Customs).

According to WTO rules, in order to determine the injury caused by an exporting country to domestic production, the imports from that country need to be greater than 2% of the total import volume. Based on statistics of the Customs Department, Vietnam should have been removed from the list of investigated. Therefore, The Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam has asked the Philippines to exclude Vietnam from the investigation.

 

The Philippines is a nation formed by thousands of large and small islands and suffers from a series of typhoons and tsunamis every year. Therefore, the domestic manufacturing industry is not really developing. According to statistics, the production of Galvalume in 2019 in the Philippines is only about 100MT and can not meet domestic production needs. Imposing a safeguard investigation is not a good move of this country

In addition, imports from China account for nearly 93% and there is a high possibility of unfair competition on prices. It would make more sense to replace the trade safeguard investigation for many countries with anti-dumping or safeguard investigations for China. This case will help the Philippines restrict imports to protect the domestic market while helping to ensure the supply for domestic demand.

A little note for factories in Vietnam about world trade defense.

The steel industry of Vietnam has recently faced increasing pressure due to investigations for trade defense measures.

In February, Thailand issued the final conclusion of an anti-dumping investigation on iron steel piles originating or imported from Vietnam, with the imposition of anti-dumping duties from 6.97 per cent to 51.61 percent.

At the end of March, Malaysia initiated anti-dumping duty on galvanize steel from Vietnam with the alleged dumping margin of up to 39.27 percent.

Canada in March also imposed temporary anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on corrosion-resistant steel from several countries, including Vietnam, at the rates ranging from 36.3 percent to 91.8 per ent, depending on each enterprise.

Also in March, Australia initiated anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on steel pipe originating from Vietnam, China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan.

On May 13, the US Department of Commerce initiated an investigation for tax evasion measures against stainless steel sheet products imported from Vietnam. 

Most recently, Australia has just launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation for galvalume steel imported from Vietnam, China, Taiwan and Korea.

 

This is a worrying signal for Vietnam’s coated steel industry when familiar markets are applying trade remedies. This proves that, more or less, exporters in Vietnam have also committed violations in international competition. To prevent the consequences of getting worse, factories should look back and take a closer look at this.

 

To better understand trade defense policies or technical barriers, please feel free to contact us:

Ms Lan –  Juridical Manager of MRS Steel

Email: lan@mrs.com.vn

Mobile – WhatsApp: 00 84 962343746.

 

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