US ends Vietnam timber probe, no tariff

By Dat Nguyen   October 4, 2021 | 03:44 pm GMT+7
US ends Vietnam timber probe, no tariff
Illegally harvested timber confiscated in the central province of Quang Nam, September 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
The U.S. has decided to not take any trade action on Vietnamese timber following a 12-month investigation into alleged illegal harvesting and trade.

The two countries have come to an agreement that provides a satisfactory resolution of the matter subject to investigation and that no trade action is warranted at this time, according to a statement by the United States Trade Representative.

"I commend Vietnam for its commitment to address our concerns regarding the importation and use of timber that is illegally harvested or traded," said USTR ambassador Katherine Tai.

With this agreement, Vietnam will provide a model – both for the Indo-Pacific region and globally – for comprehensive enforcement against illegal timber, she added.

The agreement contains multiple commitments by Vietnam on issues related to illegal timber, including commitments to improve its Timber Legality Assurance System and to keep confiscated timber out of the commercial supply chain.

Vietnam will also need to verify the legality of domestically harvested timber regardless of export destination and work with high-risk source countries to improve customs enforcement at the border.

"Illegal timber in the supply chain damages the global environment and the natural resources on which we all depend, and is unfair to U.S. workers and businesses who avoid such timber," Tai said.

The USTR investigation into Vietnam's timber exports was initiated in October 2020.

The U.S. is the biggest market for Vietnamese wood products, representing an estimated $7.4 billion last year, about half of the country’s total.

 
 
go to top