The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) and the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO) have written to the prime minister asking for help due to a high risk of duties being imposed on Vietnamese textiles and footwear imported into the United States.

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it would launch an investigation related to “Section 301” of the U.S. Trade Act, which will negatively affect Vietnamese exports to the country.

As such, the associations promptly proposed that the Government direct the relevant ministries and agencies to adopt appropriate measures to protect the rights and interests of the apparel and footwear sectors over the risk of tax imposition.

The two associations are the second largest suppliers of apparel and footwear to the United States, Tuoi Tre Online reported.

After being informed of the investigation from the United States side, VITAS and LEFASO quickly worked with the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), according to the associations.

Due to the importance of Vietnam’s supply of apparel and footwear, AAFA and FDRA had proposed that the USTR should consider not interrupting the supply chain, said the two Vietnamese associations.

AAFA said that Vietnam has been the key trade partner of the United States in the apparel and footwear industries. Slapping punitive taxes on goods imported from Vietnam is expected to interrupt the supply chain and push prices up, affecting customers from the United States.

Besides, FDRA said that U.S. firms that intend to shift their operations to Vietnam would also face tax imposition. If USTR launches the “Section 301” investigation, U.S. apparel and footwear firms will face tough times ahead.

A hearing is set to take place in the United States on December 29.

Source: The Saigon Times

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