U.S. antidumping (AD) law imposes AD import duties on imports found to be sold at unfairly low prices (such as below cost plus reasonable profit or fair normal value), that injure a U.S. industry.  Many, and increasingly so, Vietnam exports to the United States are subject to such U.S. AD.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has now initiated a so-called changed circumstances review of whether Vietnam should now be deemed a market economy (ME) for U.S. AD law purposes (see attached).  DOC is now accepting public comments as part of this inquiry, due 30 days from publication of the attached notice in the official U.S. Federal Register (i.e., Nov. 29, if the notice is published as scheduled Oct. 30).  The final results of this review are due 270 days after the beginning of the review (i.e., in July 2024), though the due date may be extended.

Vietnam is currently treated as a non-market economy (NME) for U.S. AD purposes.  NME status generally leads to much higher and more unpredictable AD import duty margins than ME status.  The Government of Vietnam is strongly pushing for ME status. Actually, many/most countries now already treat Vietnam as an ME for AD purposes.  The affected U.S. private consumer sector could assist in this push.  Geopolitics may also support Vietnam ME status as the United States seeks Vietnam support as to Russia and China issues.

ME status means more to Vietnam than thus AD.  Vietnam is also now currently treated as an NME for U.S. countervailing duty (CVD) law purposes too.  U.S. CVD law imposes CVD import duties on imports found to be government subsidized that injure a U.S. industry.  Further, there is now a U.S. and European Union effort to impose special carbon taxes on at least steel imports from deemed NME countries on the basis that NME’s less protect the environment.

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