Earlier this October, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced an agreement with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam that resolves U.S. concerns in the Vietnam Timber Section 301 investigation.
Ambassador Tai determined that the Agreement provides a satisfactory resolution of the matter subject to investigation and that no trade action is warranted at this time. Going forward, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will monitor Vietnam’s implementation of the Agreement.
“I commend Vietnam for its commitment to address our concerns regarding the importation and use of timber that is illegally harvested or traded,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “With this Agreement, Vietnam will provide a model – both for the Indo-Pacific region and globally – for comprehensive enforcement against illegal timber. USTR looks forward to working with Vietnam to deepen collaboration and information exchange, including through a newly created Timber Working Group.”
The Agreement contains multiple commitments by Vietnam on issues related to illegal timber, including commitments to improve its Timber Legality Assurance System; keep confiscated timber (i.e., timber seized for violating domestic or international law) out of the commercial supply chain; verify the legality of domestically harvested timber regardless of export destination; and work with high-risk source countries to improve customs enforcement at the border and law enforcement collaboration.