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Vietnam paper plates unfairly subsidised 237.65 percent: US Department of Commerce

The US Department of Commerce–or the DOC–has made a preliminary finding in a case brought by several paper plate producers in the US against paper plates from several Vietnamese manufacturers which the claim are being unfairly subsidised. 

Five of the six firms investigated were found to be subsidised to the tune of 237.65 percent. Notably, four of these firms failed to respond to the DOC’s request for information at all, and one failed to provide all of the information requested. The sixth, Go-Pak Paper Products Vietnam, the only company to sufficiently engage with the DOC, was found to be subsidised by just 5.48 percent.

Pertinent in the preliminary determination findings is the following comment:

“Commerce notes that, in making these findings, it relied, in part, on facts available, and, because it finds that certain respondents and the Government of Vietnam did not act to the best of their ability to respond to Commerce’s requests for information, it drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.” 

Of note, Vietnam has requested a review of its non-market economy status, under the guise that it is being unfairly treated in trade remedies cases. In the context of the DOCs’ comments above, however, it seems unlikely market economy status will make much of a difference.

See also: Unpacked: Vietnam’s Non-Market Economy Review

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