On July 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) reached an agreement to address concerns raised by the United States about Vietnam’s currency practices that were found actionable in an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). See Update of January 15, 2021. Under the agreement, the USTR stated that the SBV has agreed to allow Vietnam’s currency “to move in line with the development of Vietnam’s financial and foreign exchange market and with Vietnam’s economic fundamentals.” In the joint statement released by the Treasury and the SBV, the SBV underscored that “the focus of its monetary policy framework is to promote macroeconomic stability and to control inflation” and that the country is “bound under the Articles of Agreement of the IMF [International Monetary Fund] to avoid manipulating its exchange rate in order to prevent effective balance of payments adjustment or to gain an unfair competitive advantage and will refrain from any competitive devaluation of the Vietnamese dong.” In its ongoing efforts to modernize its financial system, the SBV will “continue to improve exchange rate flexibility over time, allowing the Vietnamese dong to move in line with the stage of development of the financial and foreign exchange markets and with economic fundamentals, while maintaining macroeconomic and financial market stability.” Under the agreement, the SBV will provide necessary information for the Treasury to conduct analysis and reporting on the SBV’s activities in the foreign exchange market.

Ambassador Katherine Tai, the USTR, stated that “[c]ountries should not be able to manipulate their exchange rates to gain an unfair competitive advantage in international trade, and I commend Vietnam for its commitment to addressing our concerns.” As a result of this agreement, the “USTR, in coordination with the Treasury, will monitor Vietnam’s implementation of its commitments and work with Vietnam to ensure that it addresses the acts, policies and practices related to the valuation of its currency that were found actionable in the Section 301 investigation.” No further action by the USTR is expected in the Section 301 investigation.