asia

Why Vietnam fears Biden as much as Trump




Vietnam remains one of the few countries in Asia not to have yet congratulated Joe Biden on his November 3 election victory.

But the apparent diplomatic slight reveals less about Hanoi’s view of the US president-elect and more about its desire not to anger outgoing US President Donald Trump in his final weeks in office. 

Last month, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it had opened an investigation into whether Hanoi has engaged in currency manipulation, as well as a probe into its alleged export of illegally-sourced timber.

In September, a US Treasury Department inquiry concluded that Vietnam had manipulated its currency in relation to its export of vehicle tires. The US Commerce Department this month slapped a preliminary anti-subsidy tariff on Vietnam’s tire exports, worth around US$470 million in 2019.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross described the measure as “an important step forward for the ‘America First’ trade agenda,” a policy driven by the Trump administration’s fixation on reducing America’s trade deficit.



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