Vietnam suggests U.S. probe about its currency, timber might harm both nations

HANOI (Reuters) – A U.S. probe into Vietnam’s currency and timber could harm bilateral relations and negatively impact workers and consumers in both of those international locations, Vietnam mentioned on Friday, citing remarks by its trade minister to the U.S. Trade Agent (USTR).

The Trump administration in late December named Vietnam a forex manipulator, a shift that firms explained could see the USTR impose tariffs on Vietnamese merchandise. It has also accused Vietnam of preventing tariffs by mislabelling products and solutions created from Chinese timber.

“This investigation could bring about lots of unwanted outcomes, damage bilateral relations, and have damaging impacts on 1000’s of enterprises, and tens of millions of staff and individuals in Vietnam and the United States,” Vietnam’s trade ministry stated in a assertion, paraphrasing remarks by minister Tran Tuan Anh in a mobile phone dialogue with Robert Lighthizer on Thursday.

The internet site and official Twitter account of the office environment of the USTR experienced no immediate statement on the discussion. The U.S. embassy in Hanoi claimed it experienced no quick comment.

Vietnam international minister, Pham Binh Minh, and U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo reviewed the identical difficulty on Wednesday.

Vietnam has persistently explained its currency procedures were being to preserve exchange amount steadiness and continue to keep inflation below handle and did not search for an unfair trade benefit.

The United States is Vietnam’s biggest export industry, accounting for in excess of a quarter of its overall export earnings in 2020. Its critical exports to the nation involve garments, electronics and wood merchandise.

In Thursday’s telephone communicate, Anh instructed the U.S. investigation address all factors and probable impacts, and be executed in a reasonable, comprehensive and clear manner, the Vietnamese assertion mentioned.

“We hope that the two sides could shut this situation effortlessly with no taxes staying imposed on Vietnamese goods,” it explained.

The Vietnamese assertion quoted Lighthizer referring to “rumours” of taxes getting imposed, and expressing those people were not real as the USTR had still to make any conclusions. Reuters could not right away verify the remark.

Reporting by Phuong Nguyen Editing by Martin Petty