Vietnam has trade surplus with US, but no need to worry, say analysts


VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam ranks third among Asian countries which have the biggest trade surpluses with the US. Should this be a concern for Vietnam?

The news that US President Donald Trump is arriving in Vietnam to attend the APEC Summit to be held in Da Nang City brings new hope to Vietnam-US trade relations after the US administration announced its withdrawal from TPP.

The US trade officials will conduct an investigation into the causes of the US deficit in trade relations with its partners, under a presidential decree released in early April.

Of the 16 countries thought to cause the US trade deficit of $500 billion a year, more than half are from Asia. China, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea have the largest bilateral trade surpluses with the US.

No official statement has been made, but analysts commented that the major goals for the US are China and Japan, which top the list of the countries with the largest trade surpluses. 

The number 1 position belongs to China with $347 billion in trade surplus, which is five times higher than Japan’s. 

Analysts think it is highly possible that Washington would force China, Japan and other trade partners to open their markets more widely to goods and services from the largest economy in the world.

To date, Vietnam has not been mentioned in the US reports. In most of the lawsuits raised by the US against its trade partners, China was the defendant in 21 cases. The other defendants were Canada, India, South Korea, Mexico and Japan (six cases for each country). Indonesia was sued in four cases, while there were no cases for Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Most of the lawsuits raised by the US against China are related to automobiles, agriculture, microchips, aircraft, metals and intellectual property, while lawsuits against Indonesia are about animal-made products and automobiles.

Nhip Cau Dau Tu quoted analysts as saying that the US trade deficit is not entirely due to unfair agreements or fraud, but to US imports of oil. 

They also believe that Vietnam may bear little impact from the US’s new executive command, especially as the Trump administration wants to alleviate concerns about SE Asia being ignored by US.

The US President has invited Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc to pay a visit to the US. Meanwhile, Vice US President Mike Pence conveyed a reassuring signal to SE Asia countries during his visit to Indonesia.

According to Bloomberg, Vietnam’s exports to the US have increased by two times since 2010. But Vietnam is one of the fastest growing markets for US goods in Asia.


Photo: CBR Investment AG