WASHINGTON– The National Retail Federation urged the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to avoid placing tariffs on imports of Vietnamese goods and rely on other remedies and authorities to address trade complaints. USTR recently launched two separate 301 investigations regarding Vietnam’s currency practices and trade in illegal timber. NRF Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French provided testimony at both the illegal timber and currency practices hearings this week.
“Vietnam has become an increasingly important political ally and economic partner to the United States to counter the influence of China in the region,” French said. “It is important that this relationship not only continue but expand as the global economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”
“As companies continue to face economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, new tariffs on imports from Vietnam will further harm U.S. companies and will result in higher costs for consumers.”
French cited a new report commissioned by NRF and prepared by the Trade Partnership Worldwide on the potential impacts of tariffs on Vietnam. The report estimates the use of tariffs on imports of apparel, footwear and other goods from Vietnam would result in additional costs to American consumers and would range from $4 billion to $9 billion in higher prices.
French noted that many companies shifted their supply chains away from China to Vietnam as a direct result of the China 301 tariffs. Placing tariffs on imports from Vietnam will now punish these companies and may result in sourcing shifting back to China.
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.