Vietnam warned that it will crack down on goods of Chinese origin illegally relabeled “Made in Vietnam” by exporters seeking to avoid U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports, media reports said.
Vietnam Customs Department explained that it found dozens of fake product-origin certificates and illegal transfers by companies trying to avoid U.S. tariffs, on everything from agriculture to textiles and steel.
The news comes amid heightened trade dispute between the US and China. The Vietnamese statement is unprecedented as it is one of the first Asian government to publicly denounce such misbehavior.
“Some importers had been illegally re-packing goods from China in “Made in Vietnam” packaging and then applying for a Vietnamese certificate of origin with which to export to the United States, Europe and Japan,” Vietnam customs said.
Vietnam’s department noted that it is developing measures to better identify and impose penalties on businesses which carry out such violations.
“Vietnam is concerned since it may be punished by the U.S. for allowing mislabeled Chinese products to flow to America,” Do Van Sinh, a standing member of the National Assembly’s economic committee”, said.
According to Bloomberg, The Southeast Asian country’s reported shipments to the U.S. have jumped this year as China’s have slumped. While there’s evidence that some of those gains are due to shifting supply chains, analysts have questioned how much of the recent surge is legitimate.