US claims Vietnam's currency practices 'unreasonable'

1/16/2021

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The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) claimed that Vietnam's acts, policies and practices related to currency valuation are "unreasonable" and restrict American commerce.

"In making these findings, USTR has consulted with the Department of the Treasury as to matters of currency valuation and Vietnam's exchange rate policy," the Office said in a statement on Friday after releasing findings of its Section 301 investigation into Vietnam's currency practices, which was initiated in October 2020.

"USTR is not taking any specific actions in connection with the findings at this time but will continue to evaluate all available options."

"I hope that the US and Vietnam can find a path for addressing our concerns," Xinhua news agency quoted outgoing USTR Robert Lighthizer as saying in the statement, adding that "unfair acts, policies and practices that contribute to currency undervaluation" harm American workers and businesses.

The USTR's findings came after the Treasury Department last month labelled Vietnam as a "currency manipulator".

"At least part of Vietnam's exchange rate management over the four quarters through June 2020, and particularly its intervention, was for purposes of preventing effective balance of payments adjustments and gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade," the Treasury Department report said.

In response, Vietnam's central bank said that the country is not intended to create unfair international trade advantage via its management of foreign exchange rate, which was instead to ensure macroeconomic stability.

Section 301, under an outdated US trade law adopted in 1974, allows the American President to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions on foreign countries.

The global trading community has become increasingly concerned that the US government's frequent use of Section 301 would go against the World Trade Organization rules, undermine the multilateral trading system and disrupt the global supply chain.

Source: IANS

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