Vietnamese exports to US urged to focus on standards

14:04 | 17/11/2017 Trade

(VEN) - From August 2016 to August 2017, the exports of Vietnamese garments and footwear to the US increased by 8.74 percent and 11.83 percent, respectively. Vietnam was the second largest exporter in both garments and footwear to the US, after China. In particular, Vietnam continued to surpass rivals in export growth to the US despite a lack of any trade preferential programs or free trade agreements.

vietnamese exports to us urged to focus on standards

Nate Herman, senior vice president of supply chains at the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said Vietnam ranks 12th among countries and territories exporting goods to the US. In particular, Vietnamese goods such as footwear, apparel and travel equipment have high growth rates and great values. US retailers and consumers favor Vietnamese apparels because of its strengths in quality and prices, and compliance with delivery commitments.

He noted that compliance with safety standards, responsibility for supplies and transparency in management are the core values being addressed by many international organizations to develop trade with the US.

US Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Mary Tarnowka said her country has been promoting long-term trade commitments in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam. She also added that Vietnam commits to accelerate international economic integration in order to attract more investment and participate in the global supply chain.

However, to achieve these goals, Vietnam must further step up the process of building a fair and transparent legal system to facilitate trade and production activities. Particularly, exporters have to improve their competitiveness and comply with regulations, she said.

Josue Solano, president and chief operating officer of the BBC International LLC, said Vietnamese businesses need to keep up-to-date with changes in safety standards and comply with the regulations of export markets.

Jon Fee, a senior adviser of Alston & Bird LLP, said even without the Trans-Pacific Partnership from which the US plans to withdraw, there are other opportunities for garment-textile and footwear producers in Vietnam, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Experts said Vietnam’s exports to the US would face difficulties due to tighter US regulations on product safety designed to reduce its trade deficit. If Vietnam does not enjoy the generalized scheme of preferences (GSP), it could be competing with countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines that still enjoy GSP status.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in the first nine months of 2017, Vietnam’s exports to the US reached nearly US$31 billion, up 9.4 percent over the same period last year.

Ngoc Thao