US attractive to Vietnamese exporters

17:20 22/05/2021
Vietnam’s exports to the US surged 50.1% in the first four months of this year, reaching US$30.3 billion, making the latter the largest export market of the former, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has reported.

The Association of Vietnam Timber and Forest Products (VIFOREST) said that despite COVID-19, wood exports still surpassed US$12 billion in 2020, an increase of more than 15% year-on-year. Of the total, more than US$7 billion came from the US.

Julie Hundersmarck from the US Forest Service said that wooden furniture from Vietnam is the most popular in the US, mostly sofas, beds, interior décor for children’s rooms, kitchens, and dining rooms.

Shipments of kitchen cabinets to the US soared to US$1 billion last year from US$140 million in 2018.

The revenue from interior décor items in the US stood at US$115 billion and is forecast to increase to US$143 billion over the next five years.

The Vietnam Trade Office in the US reported that apart from apparel, footwear, and aquatic products, electronics, spare parts, and wooden furniture have become major foreign currency earners for Vietnam. More than 10 categories of Vietnamese goods earned US$1 billion in exports to the US.

Vietnamese exporters, however, also face risks relating to trade defence and food safety and quality requirements.

The greatest barrier is regulations on the origin of products, which frequently change and require companies to adapt.

VIFOREST Chairman Do Xuan Lap said that rising exports to the US means the US Government will raise trade defence measures.

As Canada, Australia, and the US have seen many steel enterprises from the Republic of Korea move their mills to Vietnam to avoid taxes, they have decided to impose anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnamese steel products to over 400%, meaning that the doors for the Vietnamese steel products to enter these markets are shut down.

Domestic firms also pay less attention to trademark protection.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), only 1,938 of nearly 7,000 Vietnamese trademarks have been registered with the USPTO for protection. Of these, only 1,090 are still current.