Sat, 06 Mar 2021

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on Friday claimed that Vietnam's acts, policies and practices related to currency valuation are "unreasonable" and restrict U.S. commerce.

"In making these findings, USTR has consulted with the Department of the Treasury as to matters of currency valuation and Vietnam's exchange rate policy," the USTR Office said in a statement after releasing findings of its Section 301 investigation into Vietnam's currency practices, which was initiated in October 2020.

"USTR is not taking any specific actions in connection with the findings at this time but will continue to evaluate all available options," the office said.

"I hope that the United States and Vietnam can find a path for addressing our concerns," said the outgoing USTR Robert Lighthizer, adding that "unfair acts, policies and practices that contribute to currency undervaluation" harm U.S. workers and businesses.

The USTR's findings came after the U.S. Treasury Department last month labeled Vietnam as a "currency manipulator".

"At least part of Vietnam's exchange rate management over the four quarters through June 2020, and particularly its intervention, was for purposes of preventing effective balance of payments adjustments and gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade," the U.S. Treasury Department said in a report.

In response, Vietnam's central bank said last month that the country is not intended to create unfair international trade advantage via its management of foreign exchange rate, which was instead to ensure macroeconomic stability.

The so-called Section 301, under an outdated U.S. trade law adopted in 1974, allows the U.S. president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions on foreign countries.

The global trading community has become increasingly concerned that the U.S. government's frequent use of Section 301 would go against the World Trade Organization rules, undermine the multilateral trading system and disrupt the global supply chain.

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