U.S. Won't Penalize Vietnam for Alleged Currency Manipulation
By Yuka Hayashi
WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration said Vietnam's currency
practices, including "excessive foreign exchange market
interventions," hurt American businesses, but that it decided not
to take any punitive action.
The decision to skip penalties in a new trade dispute came days
before President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn into office, and
followed opposition during a recent hearing from U.S. companies
doing business in Vietnam
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative had been
investigating Vietnam's policies and practices related to currency
valuation since October.
It was the first case in which the U.S. cited currency
manipulation as a reason to investigate a trading partner under
Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the same legal tool the Trump
administration used to impose massive tariffs on imports from
"Unfair acts, policies and practices that contribute to currency
undervaluation harm U.S. workers and businesses, and need to be
addressed," U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer said in
a statement Friday.
The USTR added while it wasn't taking any specific action at
this time, it would continue to "evaluate all available
The Vietnamese Embassy in Washington didn't immediately respond
to a request for comment.
Imports from Vietnam have grown sharply in recent years, rising
from $14.9 billion a decade ago to $66.6 billion in 2019, according
to Commerce Department data. The Southeast Asian country has been a
popular destination for investments by U.S. businesses avoiding
China due to growing political tensions and rising costs there.
The announcement follows a decision last month by the Treasury
Department to label Vietnam and Switzerland as currency
manipulators, and USTR hearings in late December where
representatives of American companies expressed concerns that
tariffs prompted by the investigation would harm their
Write to Yuka Hayashi at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 15, 2021 18:38 ET (23:38 GMT)
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