Jun 29, 2019 / 00:37

Vietnam reaffirms commitment to free and fair trade after Trump tariff threat

The Hanoitimes - On the sidelines of the G20 summit on June 28, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and President Donald Trump had “open and constructive” talks on trade and energy cooperation.

Vietnam has reiterated its commitment to free and fair trade with the United States after President Trump a few days ago hinted that he might impose tariffs on Vietnamese imports.

In an interview with Fox Business Network on June 26 Washington time before flying to Japan for the G20 summit, President Trump said “a lot of companies are moving to Vietnam, but Vietnam takes advantage of us even worse than China.”
The Trump administration has already levied tariffs on US$200 million worth of Chinese imports and has threatened to put punitive tariffs on the remaining US$300 million-plus worth of goods from China.

Vietnam’s trade surplus with the US widened to US$39.5 billion in 2018, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. Exports from Vietnam to the US have jumped this year as companies migrated from China to Vietnam in a bid to dodge Trump’s tariffs.
 
 Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: MOFA
Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: MOFA
In a move to row back tensions, Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs late on Friday stated economic and trade ties between Vietnam and the US have thrived recently and Hanoi gives great importance to developing the Comprehensive Partnership with the US.

Vietnam is committed to "fostering economic, trade, and investment relations with the US in the direction of freedom and fairness, on the basis of mutual benefits” given the two country’s economic complementariness, Hang affirmed.

The spokesperson added that the Southeast Asian country has made numerous efforts to improve the trade balance between the two countries, increased purchases of US goods, improved the investment and business environment, and facilitated US companies to do business in the country.

Amid worries of foreign companies rerouting goods to Vietnam for re-export to the US, the foreign ministry said the country has taken many measures to fight against companies attempting to export foreign goods passing through Vietnam for a whitewash in order to dodge US tariffs.
 
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and President Trump at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. Photo: Quang Hieu/VGP
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and President Trump at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. Photo: Quang Hieu/VGP
According to the Vietnamese foreign ministry, on the sidelines of the G20 summit on June 28, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and President Donald Trump had “open and constructive” talks on trade and energy cooperation. President Trump hailed the Vietnamese government’s resolve to crack down on trade fraud and goods illegally labeled as “Made in Vietnam.”