On October 2, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued the notices on initiation of investigations under Section 301 of the Trade Act regarding Vietnam’s Acts, Policies, and Practices related to the currency valuation and the import and use of illegal timber in Vietnam on the Federal Register.
In which, there are some notable points as follows:
- Whether Vietnam’s currency is undervalued, and the level of the undervaluation.
- Vietnam’s acts, policies, or practices contribute to the undervaluation of its currency.
- The extent to which Vietnam’s acts, policies, or practices contribute to the undervaluation.
- Whether Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices are unreasonable or discriminatory.
- The nature and level of burden or restriction on U.S. commerce caused by the undervaluation of Vietnam’s currency.
- The determinations required under section 304 of the Trade Act, including what action, if any, should be taken.
Import and use illegal timber:
- Vietnamese imports of illegal timber may be inconsistent with Vietnam’s domestic laws, the laws of exporting countries, or international rules. The import of illegal timber may indicate that Vietnam is not enforcing its own laws concerning the import and processing of timber, such as laws requiring that wood processors ensure the lawful origins of the timber they use. For species listed under the CITES that are imported from Cambodia or the DRC, there is evidence that Vietnamese authorities are not requiring the permits or certificates that should be needed to enter or re-export from Vietnam.
- Evidence indicates that Vietnam at least tacitly may support the import and use of illegal timber. For example, reports indicate that Vietnamese officials do not record the origin of timber crossing the Cambodia-Vietnam border. This practice would enable Vietnamese exporters to disclaim knowledge of illegal timber inputs when exporting wood products to third countries. Vietnam may have allowed the importation of CITES-listed species based on invalid CITES permits. At the provincial government level, there are reports of Vietnamese officials accepting payments in return for facilitating illegal timber imports.
- Other acts, policies, and practices of Vietnam relating to the import and use of illegal timber.
Comments on these investigations must be submitted in written by November 12, 2020.