Groups Ask USTR to Not Threaten Vietnam with Tariffs


The American Soybean Association and 70 other business groups expressed concern to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai regarding proposed tariffs on Vietnam. The imposed tariffs would respond to a pair of Section 301 investigations initiated under the Trump administration, alleging “currency manipulation” and “illegal timber practices.’ In a letter sent last week to the ambassador, the organizations strongly urged the USTR not to use tariffs in response to either of those investigations. The letter cited the U.S. Treasury Department’s congressionally mandated “Report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States,” which says there is “insufficient evidence” that Vietnam manipulates its exchange rate. Concerning Vietnam’s questioned logging practices, the groups feel an investigation by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service under the Lacey Act would be the most appropriate tool to use and not a Section 301 investigation. Vietnam is a top ten market for U.S. soy exports and would be a potential target for retaliation from Vietnam.