Vietnam's Prime Minister speaks out over Trump’s protectionist policies

By VnExpress   April 3, 2017 | 12:03 am PT
Vietnam's Prime Minister speaks out over Trump’s protectionist policies
A man works at a blanket factory in Hanoi/ Photo by Reuters/Kham
Says the country should not allow key sectors to fall into foreign hands.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has spoken out about new trade policies adopted by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, saying they will have a huge impact on Vietnam’s export-driven economy.

At a Monday press briefing, Phuc said that Trump’s protectionism would affect Vietnam’s exports and foreign investment, and is likely to increase inflation and foreign exchange rates.

In order to maintain growth and control inflation, Vietnam will need to look for strong and specific solutions, the report said.

He said the country should try and raise private contributions to GDP from the current 32 percent to 35 percent, and boost the mining industry.

Phuc also said Vietnam must not allow key economic sectors to fall into foreign hands.

In  a letter to Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang in late February, Trump said he wanted to further strengthen economic cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam as well as peacekeeping in the Asia-Pacific region.

Trump took office in January and quickly withdrew from the Trans Pacific Partnership, which involved 11 other members, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.

He has said he preferred bilateral deals, and pledged to put “America first”.

Last week, he signed executive orders to launch a study aimed at identifying abuses that are causing massive U.S. trade deficits, and to clamp down on non-payment of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports, his top trade officials said in a Reuters report.

The study will focus on countries that have chronic goods trade surpluses with the United States, including China, Japan, Mexico and Vietnam.

Vietnam’s exports to the U.S. in 2016 increased 15 percent from the previous year to $38.5 billion, making the U.S. its biggest importer, based on statistics from Vietnam Customs.

At the Asean Business Summit last December, PM Phuc called for deeper economic ties between the bloc's members to deal with tighter trade controls in the U.S., Bloomberg said.

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