Vietnam

Customs and Trade Law Weekly Snapshot

Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:

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New Antidumping Petition Against Imports of Certain Honey Products

Background on AD/CVD Investigations

Antidumping duty (“AD”) and countervailing duty (“CVD”) investigations are brought jointly by the U.S. International Trade Commission (“USITC”) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”). AD investigations are triggered when a domestic industry alleges that it has been injured by competing imports of particular goods from specific countries being sold at less than a fair value. Meanwhile, CVD investigations are triggered when a domestic industry alleges that it has been injured by competing imports that are being unfairly subsidized by their governments. The domestic industry initiating the investigation is known as the petitioner while the foreign industry participating in the investigation is known as the respondent.

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USTR Announces Special 301 Review – Comments Due January 28

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

Special 301 Report

The United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) conducts an annual evaluation known as the Special 301 review. In the review, USTR identifies countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property (“IP”) rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on IP protection. As a result of this review, trading partners that present the most significant concerns regarding IP rights are placed in one of three categories: 1) the Watch List, 2) the Priority Watch List, and 3) Priority Foreign Countries.

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USTR Targets Vietnam in New 301 Investigations – Submit Request to Testify by Dec. 10

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

 USTR’s Tougher Stance on Vietnam

 The Trump administration has begun to exercise a tougher stance against Vietnam. The United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) initiated two Section 301 investigations against the Southeast Asian country on October 2, 2020. The focus of the two investigations are Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to (1) the valuation of its currency, and (2) Vietnam’s importation and use of illegal timber. The news of USTR’s launch of these dual investigations came days before the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest trade data release – which indicated that the U.S. trade deficit in goods with Vietnam is at record levels, registering at $42.7 billion in the 8 months of data available for 2020. This skyrocketing trade deficit is relevant to U.S. trade policy towards Vietnam because one of President Trump’s key economic pledges was to lower the U.S. trade deficit with trading partners. A well-documented pattern of transshipment of goods from China through Vietnam to avoid U.S. Section 301 duties towards China could also explain Vietnam being targeted.

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