Following the United States’ inclusion of Vietnam in the list of exchange rate manipulators last week, US President Trump talked with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Chun Phuc on the 22nd to raise concerns about the U.S. trade deficit with Vietnam.
According to Reuters on the 23rd, a White House spokesman said that Trump expressed concern about the U.S. trade deficit in a call with Nguyen Chun Phuc. Trump urged Nguyen Chun-Fu to take “bold action” to ensure that the United States and Vietnam maintain a “fair and mutually beneficial” trade relationship.
According to a Vietnam News Agency on the 23rd, Nguyen Chunfu and Trump also exchanged views on the “301 investigation” of Vietnam’s monetary policy and timber raw materials by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
Nguyen Chun Phuc stressed that Vietnam is a developing country with limited economic strength. The purpose of implementing monetary policy control is to curb inflation, stabilize macroeconomics and carry out exchange rate control, rather than creating a competitive advantage in international trade.
According to Reuters, the United States is Vietnam’s largest export market. The United States imported $66.6 billion in goods from Vietnam last year, compared with about $65 billion in imports in the first 10 months of this year.
In the first 11 months of this year, the United States accounted for more than a quarter of Vietnam’s total exports, mainly goods such as clothing, electronic products and wood products. According to data from Bloomberg on November 29, Vietnam’s exports to the United States increased by 25.7% in the first 11 months of this year.
The Trump administration added Vietnam to the list of exchange rate manipulators on the 19th of this month, which the business community believes will remove obstacles for USTR to impose tariffs on Vietnamese goods.
At that time, the National Bank of Vietnam responded that it would work with the U.S. government to ensure “harmonious and fair” trade relations. According to Reuters, some monetary and trade experts predict that Trump is likely to release a proposal to impose tariffs on Vietnamese goods before leaving office in January next year.
Japan Economic News commented on December 21 that Vietnam’s mood at this moment may be bitter and sweet – being included in the list of exchange rate manipulators shows that Vietnam’s influence as a trading partner is increasing, but at the same time, it also indicates upcoming tensions.
According to Singapore’s Lianzao Daily on the 23rd, Vietnam’s Ministry of Commerce said on the 21st that Vietnamese and American officials will meet at the end of this month to discuss trade issues between the two sides.