Background

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced Oct. 1 that it has reached an agreement with Vietnam to resolve the concerns that led to the initiation in October 2020 of a Section 301 investigation into Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to timber imports.

According to USTR, the agreement with Vietnam secures commitments that will help keep illegally harvested or traded timber out of the supply chain and protect the environment and natural resources. Specifically, it contains multiple commitments by Vietnam on issues related to illegal timber, including commitments to improve its timber legality assurance system, keep confiscated timber (i.e., timber seized for violating domestic or international law) out of the commercial supply chain, verify the legality of domestically harvested timber regardless of export destination, and work with high-risk source countries to improve customs enforcement at the border and law enforcement collaboration.

USTR will monitor the implementation of the agreement going forward and will not impose any trade remedies at this time. The agency adds that this is the first Section 301 investigation to address environmental concerns.

For more information on Section 301 investigations, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson or Kristen Smith.

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