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Copyright © 1999-2013 Vietnam Venture Group, Inc. All rights reserved. February 27, 2004
BTA UPDATE - March 2001
By Peter N. Sheridan
Vietnam's Trade Barriers May Start To Come Down; American Political Conservatives May Start to Raise anti-BTA Barriers.
Continuing our reports on substantial changes being projected if not implemented by the State authorities, it is important to note that these practices and procedures are not couched in terms of the US Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA).
However, each is directly related to Vietnamís need to change the way in which business is conducted in order to comply with many of provisions of the BTA which mirror requirements for Vietnam to join the WTO.
Importers and exporter must pay attention to these important changes. The basic tenant is that Vietnam may not do with non-tariff barriers that which is it prohibited from doing with tariff barriers. Not all of these protections will come into force at once. For details on the BTA see our linked pages at :www.vvg-vietnam.com/bta2000.htm The full agreement consists of more than 135 pages and can be found on line. For more information start at http://www.state.gov/www/regions/eap/fs-us-vietnam_trade_000713.html
Recent headlines in Vietnam read, "Vietnam to take broom to trade restrictions."
But in the US, there is a different tact being taken as recent headlines proclaim, "US Official Sees Hurdles To Passage Of Vietnam Trade Pact."
This comes early under the leadership of the new Bush (called "junior" or "43" to distinguish him from his father, the 41st president, or "shrub" to contrast him with the father Bush, neither of whom is seen rising to the stature of an Oak, much less a Redwood, tree).
the headlines and before the propaganda, what is really happening is the foundation
of this article and those to follow on the BTA UPDATE.
plans to at least quadruple its export value in the next 10 years by scrapping
almost every import-export restriction imposed on both domestic and foreign
new proposal, already submitted to the government for approval, would allow any
licensed business to export or import any commodity, except some special goods
banned by the state. Until now, the rules have decreed that only those
businesses licensed to import or export are allowed to do so. This non-tariff
barrier is prohibited by the BTA.
new rules on national export coordination will become more flexible, allowing
exporters to make direct contact with foreign buyers.
key restrictions will remain in place, including a ban on certain dangerous
items. Additionally, the use of
licensed coordinators will remain in place for imports of radio-transmitting
facilities, dynamite, medicines, fertilizers, books and movies, and for
market-controlled exports such as rice, coffee and coal. For full details on
what is considered nation-protected, please refer to the full text of the BTA.
non-tax tools used to restrict imports and exports will gradually be lifted, and
new trade protection tools will be introduced to meet the requirements of
international trade organizations. At present, Vietnam still uses non-tax tools
to regulate imports and exports that include bans, temporary cancellations,
import and export quotas, time permits, extra charges and minimum tax rates.
the nation does not use internationally recognized trade protection tools like
tariff rates, maximum tax rates, seasonal tax rates, anti-dumping taxes and
anti-price subsidy taxes.
new will be a cutback in the Trade Ministry's periodically issued list of
restricted imports and exports. The number of items on the list will be
gradually reduced. This year, the only restricted export will be garments,
because of quotas imposed by importing countries.
Meanwhile, the list of restricted imports this year will contain just 10 commodities, and the aim is to eventually remove each of these from the list. Moreover, the list of specialized imports subject to sectoral or ministerial control will be gradually abolished. Instead, the ministry or sector that oversees the specialized imports will use technical standards as norms to monitor the quality of imports, and no restriction will be imposed on the volumes of imports.
THE U.S.: HANOI
(AP)--The wide-ranging trade agreement is likely to be submitted to the U.S.
Congress in March, but ratification will be considerably more difficult than
originally thought, an unnamed U.S. official.
pact is considered the last major step in the process of normalizing relations
that began in 1995 with the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two
senior U.S. official, who briefed reporters on the condition he not be named,
said approval is likely to be delayed by personnel changes in Congress and the
U.S. administration, and by questions over Vietnam's observance of human,
religious and labor rights.
process is proving to be more difficult than we had originally
anticipated," the official said.
about human rights in Vietnam have been highlighted by recent unrest in the
coffee-growing Central Highlands region.
and riot police quelled the occasionally violent protests. Journalists and
foreigners have been barred from visiting the area.
See more from FEER.
See more from FEER.
Ambassador to Vietnam Pete Peterson will travel to Washington next week to meet
members of Congress and the Bush administration to urge passage of the trade
will also ask for help from U.S. business groups in educating Congress on the
benefits of the pact, the official said.
said most people "will unfortunately seize on the negative," such as
the government's handling of the Central Highlands unrest, instead of looking at
the positive aspects of the trade deal. But he predicted the pact would
eventually be approved.
agreement, signed after four years of negotiations, is expected to greatly
increase two-way trade. It requires that Vietnam introduce an unprecedented
level of competition and financial openness.
requires that trade barriers be lowered, state industries compete with foreign
companies, and copyright and investment guarantees be raised to international
has begun to review all its laws and regulations to make them compliant with the
trade agreement and with regulations of the World Trade Organization.
a huge amount of work that needs to be done in that area," the official
said. "It will require many years to get all those laws, circulars and
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