Vietnam complains to WTO about Indonesia’s safeguard tariff on steel
Vietnam last week requested that the World Trade Organization (WTO) consider Indonesia’s imposition of a safeguard tariff on its steel sheets...
Vietnam last week requested that the World Trade Organization (WTO) consider Indonesia’s imposition of a safeguard tariff on its steel sheets.
Bach Van Mung, director of the Vietnam Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper last Tuesday that Vietnam had lodged a formal complaint to the WTO, and the global trade organization had also released a statement about it.
According to Mung, Vietnam decided to take the case to the WTO following the failure in the bilateral consultation process in which Vietnam found that such unsatisfactory taxation imposition of Indonesia will have a bad influence on exports of flat rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel from Vietnam.
According to WTO rules, Vietnam and Indonesia will have 60 days to consult with each other to settle the case, but if it is still not resolved, the WTO will adjudicate, Mung added.
Earlier, according to Tuoi Tre sources, Indonesia decided to impose the tariff on flat rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel on the basis of absolute volume of imported steel, instead of the percentage of total import values, as usual.
The Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) then sent a written request to the ministry so that the latter could bring the case to the international trade management body, as Indonesia had not proved that imported steel from Vietnam is a threat to locally manufactured steel with full analysis, Mung said.
On July 7, 2014, the Indonesian Ministry of Finance issued Circular 137.1 / PMK.011 / 2014 on imposing safeguard duties on the Vietnamese products.
According to the VSA, taking the case to the WTO will help the coated steel sheet industry of Vietnam duck forthcoming investigations from the Indonesian market as well as other export markets, and spare them sky-high tax rates from the very beginning.
In particular, bringing the case to the WTO sends a warning message to other trade partners worldwide that the government of Vietnam is willing to protect the interests of local exporters in coping with trade defense measures from other countries.