June 25, 2024

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UPDATE 2-U.S. states Vietnam’s currency actions ‘unreasonable’ but holds off on tariffs

(Adds no remark from Biden changeover team)

WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday claimed Vietnam’s steps to press down the worth of its forex are “unreasonable” and limit U.S. commerce, but did not get fast action to impose punitive tariffs.

Releasing the success of its so-identified as Portion 301 investigation into Vietnam’s currency practices, the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) business office explained it would proceed to assess all out there solutions to proper the situation. That process will pass to the administration of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, who is due to just take business on Wednesday.

The U.S. Treasury Section in December labeled Vietnam a “currency manipulator” because of to its increasing trade surplus with the United States, its substantial worldwide latest account surplus and heavy foreign trade industry intervention to maintain down the benefit of its dong forex.

Business enterprise teams and trade specialists experienced feared this would guide to tariffs in the USTR investigation opened last Oct as a parting shot from the Republican Trump, who aggressively imposed tariffs all through his four decades in office environment.

The USTR mentioned it consulted the Treasury Department on Vietnam’s exchange-amount insurance policies.

“Unfair acts, insurance policies and procedures that contribute to forex undervaluation damage U.S. employees and corporations, and need to be addressed,” U.S. Trade Agent Robert Lighthizer mentioned in a assertion. “I hope that the United States and Vietnam can find a path for addressing our worries.”

The Area 301 investigation – named following a provision in a U.S. trade law – was the very same device that Lighthizer employed to launch a sweeping tariff war against China, which has still left punitive U.S. tariffs on $370 billion worthy of of yearly Chinese imports and prompted many companies to shift source chains out of China. Vietnam has been a main beneficiary of investment from these providers looking for to stay away from U.S. tariffs on China.

The USTR’s final decision to keep off on ordering tariffs versus Vietnamese items gives Biden’s nominee as trade consultant, Katherine Tai, some respiratory space in choosing how to tactic Vietnam.

A spokesman for Biden’s transition team declined to comment on the USTR selection.

The move has paralleled other conclusions by the trade office environment in recent times against imposing tariffs on France, Austria, Britain, Italy, Spain, India and Turkey in retaliation for their electronic products and services taxes. (Reporting by David Lawder Modifying by Will Dunham, Chris Reese and Aurora Ellis)