On May 24, 2023, after being vetoed by the President of the United States of America 1 week earlier, the United States House of Representatives held a re-vote on the Congressional Resolution related to the termination of the duty exemption order for solar panels products imported from 4 Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam. The remaining countries are Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand.
According to the provisions of US law, the veto power of the President of the United States can only be overturned by the House of Representatives and the Senate when the votes passed in both houses reach two-thirds of the total votes. Currently, the House of Representatives has 435 seats and the Senate has 100 seats.
Accordingly, to veto the veto power of the US President, MPs in the House and Senate need to win the official support of 290 members of the House of Representatives and 66 senators in the Senate.
However, in the previous votes, the House of Representatives only gained about 50.8% of the votes with 221/202 for/against votes, and 56% for the Senate with 56/41 for/against votes (the remaining votes are blank votes), although meeting the minimum requirement of 50% for the Resolution to be passed, it is obviously not enough 2/3 to veto the President’s veto.
In the latest vote on May 24, 2023, the House of Representatives obtained an even lower margin, with only 214/205 votes in favor/against, making it impossible to overturn the President’s veto.
Impact on Vietnamese businesses
This information is a positive signal for businesses manufacturing solar panel products originating in Vietnam, exporting to the United States as they will not be subject to trade remedies including anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties that the United States is applying to Chinese businesses.
However, this should not be a reason for businesses to completely relax and continue to export large quantities of solar panel products to the US, but instead, Vietnamese and 3 other countries Southeast Asian countries need to be especially careful in their actions at this time.
This is because these 4 countries have been identified by the US Investigative Agency to practice evading the trade remedy duty issued by the US Department of Commerce against Chinese enterprises. By June 2024, surely the duty exemption will be removed and the President of the United States, no matter how urgent the shortage of solar panel products is, will certainly fulfill his promise to stop the duty exemption, avoiding pressure from both the Senate and House of Representatives, and at the same time ensuring the interests of domestic producers.
Accordingly, if Vietnamese enterprises continue to carry out the production and export of solar panel products to the United States without restraint at this time, it may become evidence at the time the duty exemption order is lifted. Thereby, from June 2024 onwards, Vietnamese enterprises may face high or very high trade remedy duty, affecting their operations in the US market in the long term.
To receive more detailed advice on this situation, Vietnamese businesses should contact a reputable law firm on anti-dumping and trade remedies to receive timely support.