Non-market economy status in anti-dumping investigations and proceedings: A case study of Vietnam

Pham Huynh

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

‘Dumping’ is a practice in international trade whereby a product is introduced into the commerce of another country at less than its ‘normal value,’ which might cause or threaten material injury to the domestic industry of the importing country. To address the practice of dumping and provide rules to deal with it, the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted the Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (1994), known as the Anti-Dumping Agreement (ADA).
The ADA sets out anti-dumping investigation procedures that importing countries must follow if they wish to impose anti-dumping measures, which are determined by comparing the normal value and the export price of the goods in question. However, not all countries are treated equally under these arrangements. Countries that are non-market economies (NMEs) are accorded special treatment provided by specific rules, including the option for investigating authorities to resort to surrogate prices in a third country for the purpose of establishing normal value. This application of surrogate prices is referred to as ‘NME treatment’. In the absence of an internationally recognised definition of an NME, each WTO Member has adopted its own definition and/or a list of NMEs. Vietnam, a WTO Member whose economy is moving from being centrally planned to being market-based, is considered an NME by both the United States (US) and the European Union (EU).
This research investigates whether the non-market economy status of NMEs such as Vietnam disadvantages exporters in anti-dumping investigations and proceedings. The research analyses legal, procedural and other issues relating to the non-market economy status of NMEs in general and Vietnam in particular, in anti-dumping investigations and proceedings conducted by the US and the EU.
The research uses a qualitative methodology design, by which data was collected primarily using desk-based study, supplemented by interviews with anti-dumping experts, Vietnamese exporters and government officials. It involves the examination of international law pertaining to anti-dumping, the US and EU anti-dumping laws and investigation procedures, analysis of the WTO anti-dumping dispute settlement procedures and related jurisprudence, as well as the analysis of Vietnam’s transition to a market economy.
The research has found that both the US and EU treat Vietnam as a NME and have developed their own specific methodologies for anti-dumping investigations on exports from Vietnam. Furthermore, it highlights the wide discretion of the US and the EU under their domestic laws in many stages of anti-dumping investigations.
The findings also show that the WTO Dispute Settlement Body generally considers the US and the EU practices to be consistent with the ADA provisions. However, certain US and EU practices were found to be inconsistent with the ADA, including ‘zeroing’, limited examination, surrogate country selection, and the imposition of the ‘entity-wide rate.’ Further, by applying these practices, investigating authorities might establish unpredictable normal values that may inflate the estimated dumping margins and ultimately lead to the imposition of a higher than appropriate anti-dumping duty. The analysis concludes that the NME status of countries such as Vietnam disadvantages them when facing claims of dumping.
Finally, this thesis provides recommendations for Vietnamese exporters that will serve to improve their competence as defendants/respondents in anti-dumping investigations and proceedings and more effectively demonstrate the degree to which their operations are based on market-based principles. Recommendations are also provided to the Vietnam Government on ways in which it can support Vietnamese exporters in anti-dumping investigations and proceedings.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Widdowson, David, Principal Supervisor
  • Kashubsky, Mikhail, Co-Supervisor
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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