Textile Industry Seeks Measures for Export to US

The beginning of 2007 will see the end of quota imposition on Viet Nam's clothing export to the US; however there is a possibility of an encounter with an anti-dumping lawsuit by the US against Vietnamese manufacturers, experts affirmed at a recent forum organized by the Trade Minister in Ha Noi.

Vietnamese exporters would face trouble as the U.S. monitors the prices and quantities of Vietnamese textiles and clothing. (Photo:TK)

According to Mr. Nguyen Duc Thanh from the Trade Ministry, in 2006, Viet Nam’s export turnover of textiles and garments to other countries reached US$5.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 22%. The USA accounted for US$2.2 billion, of the export revenue, an increase of 25% over 2005.

He also added that of the 25 textile and garment categories, 23 have been exported in great numbers from Viet Nam to other markets under the quota system. Last year, only 9 categories of the total were considered "hot" export items.

Lawyer Mark Neuman from the US Mast Industries Group, one the biggest partners of Viet Nam in garment import-export, also affirmed Viet Nam’s clearance and favorable conditions.

He said among 42 countries from which the Group imported garment and textile products, Viet Nam established the best quota management system.

This contributed to the fact that the Mast Industries Group has always given priority to purchase Viet Nam’s clothing products with a double speed yearly. From 2001, the Group has imported roughly US$217 million worth of goods and the number is expected to increase to US$400 million next year.

However, Mr. Mark Neuman also warned local enterprises that the USA will possibly accuse Viet Nam of dumping price.

General Secretary of the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) Le Van Dao predicted a high risk of an anti-dumping lawsuit by the US to Viet Nam’s shirt, trousers, swimwear, wool jumper, and underwear.

In the short term, he said, the association recently sent a letter to US president George W. Bush to explain that Viet Nam’s export of garment and textile products to the US do not harm the country’s local market and the U.S. government should not monitor sales of imported Vietnamese clothing products in America.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese manufacturers are in a spot, waiting anxiously for a mechanism for 2007 since, as things stand, they cannot make any business plans or take on new export orders for next year, Mr. Dao added.

Measures: monitoring prices and export increase

According to Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen, the Ministries of Industry and Trade are working with the Vitas to issue a managing mechanism on garment and textile export to the US.

The draft mechanism stated that any local unit that manufactures, processes and/or trades in footwear exported to the US shall receive the export certificate (abbreviated to E/C, made according to the Trade Ministry’s form), enclosed with the already settled customs declaration of export goods and trade invoices, and all details of the export quantities and unit prices.

Mr. Thanh said the procedures, which has been applied to regulate the shoes sales to the EU from January 2000, is very simple and contributes to closely control the exporting conditions, avoid an export surge and average price decline in the top five categories monitored by the US.

As planned, the draft managing mechanism will be tabled for discussion before coming into effect by this year end.

As for Mr. Mark Neuman, Viet Nam should carry out measures to control the basic price and keep the average value of its product at a stable level. This will help the country to avoid a possible lawsuit filed by the US against Viet Nam, he said.

By D.L – Translated by Trong Khuong

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