Vietnam hanger firms to file appeal against US anti-subsidy probe

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Ten steel wire garment hanger producers and exporters have joined hands to file a lawsuit against a US trade investigation launched on suspicions Vietnamese products were violating anti-dumping and anti-subsidy laws.

A report on Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon Online Tuesday quoted lawyer Dinh Anh Tuyet of the IDVN Law Firm as saying that since the case was related to the steel wire garment hanger industry in both countries, all the companies that export the product to the US had to prepare necessary documents for the lawsuit.

If the companies fail to make adequate preparations, it is likely that very high countervailing duties, probably up to 100 percent, are imposed by US agencies, the lawyer said.

According to a notice on the portal of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) launched the investigation on January 18.

It said initiatives alleged to be subsidy programs included preferred loans for exporters and income tax concessions for companies with foreign investment.

The investigations were scheduled to be completed this June, following which the US International Trade Commission would make a final decision on imposing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on made-in-Vietnam hangers from July onwards, the newswire quoted the ministry as saying.

The US agency made the move following petitions from major American hanger producers M&B Metal Products Company, Inc., Innovative Fabrication LLC / Indy Hanger, and US Hanger Company, LLC, it said.

This is the third time in as many years that Vietnamese products are facing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations in the US, the newswire reported.

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In November last year, the DOC also launched investigations into ten Vietnamese steel companies after US firms filed petitions alleging that their exports of circular welded carbon-quality steel pipes violated local anti-dumping and anti-subsidy laws.

In 2009, Vietnamese exporters of polyethylene carrier bags faced similar probes and were later asked to pay countervailing duties. The US International Trade Commission concluded that its industry was threatened by Vietnam's subsidies.

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