Background

No tariff increases are being imposed on goods from Vietnam following a Section 301 investigation of that country’s currency valuation.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative concluded that the facts and circumstances it examined in this investigation support a finding that Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to currency valuation are unreasonable. These facts and circumstances include the persistent undervaluation of Vietnam’s currency over several years; Vietnam’s more recent, rapid, and significant purchases of foreign exchange, which have contributed to undervaluation; and the conditions surrounding Vietnam’s foreign exchange market interventions, including current account and goods trade surpluses. USTR noted that this finding is consistent with the Treasury Department’s determination in December 2020 that Vietnam has manipulated the value of its currency.

USTR also determined that Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices are burdening or restricting U.S. commerce by effectively lowering the price of goods exported from Vietnam to the U.S. and raising the local currency price of U.S. exports to Vietnam.

However, USTR said it is not taking any specific actions in response to these findings at this time. USTR Robert Lighthizer said only that Vietnam’s practices “need to be addressed” and that he hopes the two sides “can find a path for addressing our concerns.”

A USTR notice to be published in the Federal Register added that this matter “will be addressed in subsequent proceedings under Section 301.” However, it is unclear whether and how USTR may do so under President-elect Biden, who will take office Jan. 20.

For more information, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson or Kristen Smith.

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