USTR Initiates Vietnam Section 301 Investigation
On October 2, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) opened an investigation to address significant issues with respect to Vietnam. This investigation was at the direction of President Donald Trump and will focus on Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to the import and use of timber that is illegally harvested or traded, as well as their acts, policies, and practices that may contribute to the undervaluation of its currency and the resultant harm caused to U.S. commerce. USTR will conduct the investigation under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act. As part of its investigation on currency undervaluation, USTR will consult with the Department of the Treasury as to issues of currency valuation and exchange rate policy.
Of the investigation, United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer said, “President Trump is firmly committed to combatting unfair trade practices that harm America’s workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers. Using illegal timber in wood products exported to the U.S. market harms the environment and is unfair to U.S. workers and businesses who follow the rules by using legally harvested timber. In addition, unfair currency practices can harm U.S. workers and businesses that compete with Vietnamese products that may be artificially lower priced because of currency undervaluation. We will carefully review the results of the investigation and determine what, if any, actions it may be appropriate to take.”
USTR will issue two separate Federal Register notices shortly that will provide details of the investigation and information on how members of the public can provide their views through written submissions.