Cyprus Mail

Vietnam says US ‘non-market economy’ label is bad for bilateral ties

file photo: vinfast electric taxi in hanoi
FILE PHOTO: A VinFast electric taxi operated by Vietnam-based fleet operator Green SM is pictured in Hanoi, Vietnam, October 10, 2023. REUTERS/Thinh Nguyen/File Photo

Vietnam’s ambassador to the United States on Tuesday urged Washington to end its “non-market economy” label on Hanoi, warning that maintaining the resulting punitive duties on Vietnamese goods is bad for increasingly close bilateral ties.

Last year, the U.S. Commerce Department said it was reviewing Vietnam’s non-market economy status after Hanoi argued that it should be removed from the list applied in anti-dumping cases given economic reforms of recent years.

The non-market economy label, also applied to China and Russia due to heavy state involvement in their economies, among others, allows the U.S. to impose significantly higher anti-dumping duties on imports from designated countries by relying on third-country proxy pricing.

Under U.S. law, the review, launched on Oct. 24, must be completed within 270 days, around mid-July.

“Of course, we want Vietnam to be removed from the U.S. list of non-market-economy countries,” Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Dzung told the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, saying that Vietnam no longer deserved a status that applied to only 12 countries in the world.

“Can you imagine, with what we’ve done, what we’ve been trying for, and look at the relationship between our two countries, is it acceptable that Vietnam is among the 12 countries … the worst countries in the world?”

“So it’s not acceptable,” Dzung said. “So I think if the DOC turned down that, I think it would be very, very bad for the two countries.”

Last year the U.S. and Vietnam elevated ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during a visit to Hanoi by President Joe Biden. Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also last year urged U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for an end to the label.

Dzung said Vietnam sought more U.S. investment to enhance its position in global high-tech supply chains and to meet carbon-emissions commitments.

“We want to have more favorable and open markets for both countries, goods and services,” he said, adding, “Of course, less cases of investigations.”

Dzung said Hanoi hoped the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework would one day include market access, which is sought by Asian countries.

He also said Vietnam wanted more U.S. help in dealing with unexploded ordnance that is a legacy of the Vietnam War.

“What we have done is great, but still we have to do a lot more,” he said. “We have to speed up, and we need more funds.”

Dzung was asked about the 2024 U.S. presidential election, in which former President Donald Trump, whose administration had threatened to impose tariffs on Vietnamese goods over currency manipulation allegations, is the Republican frontrunner.

He said there was strong bipartisan support for the partnership. “Enthusiasms may vary from time to time, depending on the circumstances. The developments of the times, in each country,” he said.

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