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PM: Vietnam determined to cut trade surplus with US

Malie Nguyen Malie Nguyen

Dieuhuong270198@gmail.com

January 08, 2021 | 09:19

Vietnam is determined to work closely with the U.S. to obtain balanced and sustainable trade relations, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told a forum on January 7.

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A container ship docks at Cat Lai Port in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Shutterstock/xuanhuongho.

As reported by VNExpress, the Vietnamese government has made drastic measures to reduce other countries’ trade deficit with it and to prevent export origin frauds, he added.

The U.S. Treasury last month labeled Switzerland and Vietnam currency manipulators, a claim strongly refuted by the latter.

Phuc said he had urged Trump to avoid placing duties on Vietnamese goods, with Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh on Thursday continuing talks.

He added handling the situation badly could see bad consequences for investment and trade.

Vietnam’s monetary policy only seeks to control inflation and stabilize the macro economy, not to gain a trade advantage, Anh stressed.

Data from the U.S. showed Vietnam’s trade surplus with it had risen in the past four years and is set to hit a record high of $65 billion in 2021, a 70 percent increase from 2017.

The U.S. Treasury last month labeled Switzerland and Vietnam currency manipulators, a claim strongly refuted by the latter.

On January 6, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh held phone talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to resolve the issue.

According to VOV, both sides exchanged views regarding the United States Trade Representative (USTR)'s ongoing investigation of Vietnam’s timber material and monetary policy under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act.

Secretary Pompeo highly appreciated the two sides’ willingness to hold exchanges on the issues. He reaffirmed the US attaches great importance to and is committed to maintaining stable relations with Vietnam as well as supporting a strong, independent and prosperous Vietnam which plays an increasingly important role in the region.

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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The two diplomats highly valued the close cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam and the US Department of State over the past time, helping deepen the comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and the US in all areas. They welcomed both sides’ efforts to flexibly organize activities to commemorate the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation on the basis of respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institutions, actively contributing to security, peace, cooperation and development in the region and the rest of the world.

In late December 2020 Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also phoned US President Donald Trump about the monetary issue. Phuc affirmed that Vietnam is a developing country with limited economic potential, so it has pursued the monetary policy in favor of inflation control and macro-economic stabilization, with the monetary policy not aimed at gaining an advantage in international trade.

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Malie Nguyen