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US-China trade war leaves Vietnam furious as products relabelled to dodge Trump tariffs

Vietnamese administrators claim they have found scores of goods of Chinese origin being made to look as though they come from Vietnam, with some items being illegally re-branded. Officials said in some cases, importers had attempted to apply for a Vietnamese certificate of original, with the intent of then exporting out to the US. Vietnamese customs said products found range from textiles, seafood, agricultural products, tiles, honey, steel and iron, aluminum and timber products. Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh issued a furious statement, warning of severe consequences such actions could have on the Vietnamese economy.

He said: ”It will sabotage Vietnamese brands and products and it will also affect consumers.

“We could even get tariff retribution from other countries, and if that happens, it will hurt our economy.”

In a statement on the government website, officials vowed to crack down on goods being made to look like they come from Vietnam.

A statement read: “The faking of origin and the illegal transshipment of goods happens most often in the sectors of textiles, seafood, agricultural products, tiles, honey, steel and iron, aluminum and timber products.”

In one example uncovered by US customs, a Vietnam-based manufacturer of timber products was found to have been importing Chinese timber which it then relabelled and exported to the US.

Vietnam’s customs department is developing a process to better identify and impose penalties on businesses which carry out such violations, the statement said.

Vietnam has emerged as one of the largest beneficiaries of the trade war between Beijing and Washington as some businesses are shifting their supply chains away from China in order to avoid tariffs.

The Southeast Asian country relies heavily on China for materials and equipment for its labor-intensive manufacturing.

Meanwhile, the US is its largest export market.

US President Donald Trump has recently threaten to slap additional tariffs on Chinese imports, as the trade spat shows no signs of slowing down.

The US leader ramped up tariffs on a list of $200billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent.

The American leader has also vowed to slap 25 percent tariffs on an additional $300billion worth of Chinese goods unless the two sides reach an agreement.

China has retaliated to US aggression by raising duties on a revised list of $60billion worth of US products to as high as 25 percent.

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