Two U.S. steel companies are preparing a tax evasion lawsuit against Vietnamese corrosion-resistant carbon steel, saying that the steel originated from China but was sent through Vietnam to avoid U.S. tariffs.

Vietnam’s trade ministry said California Steel Industries and Steel Dynamics have lodged a complaint to the U.S. Department of Commerce saying that corrosion-resistant carbon steel imported from Vietnam originally came from China.

The companies said that since the U.S. imposed a 199.43 percent anti-dumping tax and a 241.43 percent anti-subsidy tax on Chinese steel in June last year, imports from China have dropped significantly, but there has been a sudden increase of the same product coming from Vietnam.

They said the Chinese steel must have made its way into the U.S. through Vietnam to evade the taxes.

Customs figures showed that Vietnam imported 12.36 million tons of steel during the first months this year, up 25 percent from a year ago. Imports from China increased 22 percent to 7.3 million tons.

According to the Vietnam Competition Authority, the U.S. will consider imposing tariffs on steel from Vietnam if it can confirm that the steel comes from China and receives little extra work in Vietnam.

By VnExpress - October 3, 2016