US Commerce Department reviews Vietnam's market economy status

May 10, 2024 | 11:13
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The US Department of Commerce conducted hearings to determine if Vietnam qualifies as a "market economy" on May 8. These discussions, held virtually from Washington DC, featured arguments from supporters and detractors of the designation.
US Commerce Department reviews Vietnam's market economy status

The review, part of an ongoing assessment set to conclude by the end of July, is a pivotal step in defining Vietnam's economic standing on the global stage, according to Reuters.

Last year, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh appealed to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to support efforts to enhance economic and financial ties between Vietnam and the United States, urging a swift recognition of Vietnam as a market economy.

According to Reuters, opposition from US steel producers and Gulf of Mexico shrimp farmers contrasts with support from American retailers and other business sectors.

Recognising Vietnam as a market economy would lower anti-dumping duties imposed on Vietnamese imports, which are generally higher for countries classified as non-market economies. This year, the US International Trade Commission maintained a 25.76 per cent anti-dumping duty on Vietnamese frozen shrimp, whereas shrimp from Thailand, which the US recognises as a market economy, incurs only a 5.34 per cent duty.

The US Department of Commerce employs specific criteria to evaluate a country's market economy status. These include the ability for currency convertibility; labour wages set through negotiation; openness to joint ventures and foreign investment; governmental ownership or control over production resources; and control over resource allocation and economic decision-making regarding prices and outputs.

According to Reuters, former US Ambassador to Vietnam and current president of the US-ASEAN Business Council Ted Osius advocated for Vietnam's designation, stating, "Vietnam has a market economy. They meet essential criteria like currency convertibility and are prepared for official recognition."

Osius also noted the significant investments American companies have made in Vietnam, driven by the country's promising development prospects.

Vietnam’s road to emerging market status Vietnam’s road to emerging market status

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) started asking for feedback at the end of March on a draft circular aimed at upgrading Vietnam's stock market to 'emerging' status.

By Celine Luu

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