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Vietnam continues to benefit from ongoing trade war

Vietnam continues to benefit from ongoing trade war


Vietnam’s exports to the US surged past US$25bn in the first five months of this year, a 36 per cent jump from the same period last year – and footwear is Vietnam’s third-most-important export to the US, worth more than US$6bn last year.

The relocation of manufacturing firms from China amid the trade tensions has also fuelled growth in Vietnam’s economy – though some of the firms have moved only in name, using the Southeast Asian nation as a pit stop so they can claim their products were made there.

In a move mirroring the opening salvo of the trade war with China, US President Donald Trump earlier this month hit Vietnam’s steel exports with duties of more than 400 per cent for allegedly originating in Taiwan and South Korea. A year into the trade dispute, US imports from Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea and other economies around Southeast Asia are up, but there are concerns they could be accused of tariff-dodging activities such as transhipment, risking US ire in the form of sanctions.