According to Vu Ba Phu, director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, Vietnam ranks eighth among partners which have had a trade surplus with the US over the last five years.
This is unacceptable for the US, which is considering measures to balance trade as it is has been doing with China.
Warning that it would be ‘dangerous’ for Vietnam’s exports and the national economy if the US imposes high taxes on Vietnamese goods, Phu said Vietnam needs to think of solutions to the problem soon.
He said the exports increase shows an increase in production capability and the high competitiveness of Vietnamese goods. The country must not let its exports become stagnant due to policies of big countries.
“Vietnam’s economy relies heavily on exports. Vietnam should talk to the US about the measures to be applied to balance trade between the two countries and develop two-way trade in a healthy way,” Phu said.
“We should also think of correcting Vietnam’s supply chain by increasing imports from the US, especially products that can complement Vietnam’s production,” Phu suggested.
According to Dinh Tuan Minh, a respected economist, it is not certain that Vietnam will be taxed by the US to restrict exports. However, he said Vietnam needs to prepare for different scenarios, because the Trump administration is described as unpredictable.
“The US doesn’t apply the same trade policies to all countries, but it applies different policies to different countries,” Minh said, adding that trade is used as a weapon in negotiation, not simply buying or selling.
Minh thinks that it is necessary to apply measures to appease the situation by increasing imports from the US.
Some experts said Vietnam needs to be more proactive in using high-quality products and services from the US. It, for example, can choose American renewable energy technology.
Vietnam, which is witnessing the expansion of air fleets and the establishment of new airlines, can buy airplanes and other equipment from the US.
In late June, a newly set up air carrier signed a contract on purchasing 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners worth $5.6 billion.
In 2017, the US deficit in trade with Vietnam was $32 billion. However, a contract on buying Boeings alone could reduce the deficit by 20 percent.