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No decision about tariffs on Vietnamese goods yet: USTR

No decision about tariffs on Vietnamese goods yet: USTR
Minister of Trade and Industry Trần Tuấn Anh during a phone call with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Ha Noi. — Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Trade

HÀ NỘI — The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is in the middle of gathering and analysing information and has not yet reached any conclusions or made recommendations on the trade relationship between Viet Nam and the US, according to a Ministry of Industry and Trade statement.

The statement was released after a phone conversation between Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer yesterday.

The dialogue was among the latest developments since the US trade office launched a currency probe in October under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, which allows the USTR to unilaterally impose retaliatory tariffs in response to what it determines is an unfair foreign trade practice.

Lighthizer said his office acknowledged real policy dialogue and exchanges that have taken place through the US-Vietnam Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. He also said the two sides had been able to make great progress and reach numerous solutions to resolve trade and economic issues within a short time.

Anh urged his counterpart to conduct thorough and fair investigations and to carefully consider potential impacts to ensure a harmonious and mutually beneficial trade relationship between the two countries. He said the Vietnamese Government was willing to co-operate fully with US trade agencies.

The minister reiterated the Government’s stance on currency policy, which aims to rein in inflation and stabilise the macroeconomy and not create unfair trade advantages.

Earlier in December last year, American companies urged the USTR to drop an investigation into Viet Nam’s currency practices that could lead to tariffs on a wide range of Vietnamese goods, and turn the matter over to the Treasury Department to pursue, Politico reported.

They also warned that tariffs on Viet Nam could hit consumer goods, such as clothing and electronics while encouraging the country to retaliate on American exports ranging from pork to aerospace, power and health equipment. — VNS

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