Last week, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published two Federal Register notices announcing hearings for the recently initiated Section 301 investigations into Vietnam’s currency valuation practices (85 FR 75397) and import of illegal timber (85 FR 75398). The hearings follow the announcement of the investigations in October of this year and are open to public comment and participation. More information on the initiation of the investigations targeting imports from Vietnam is available in our October 7 post here.

USTR is seeking public comment and will hold public hearings. The schedule for each hearing is listed below.

Date Event
December 10 Due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony at both public hearings
December 28 Public Hearing on Vietnam’s Timber Imports
December 29 Public Hearing on Vietnam’s Currency Practices
January 6 Due date for submission of timber post-hearing rebuttal comments (post-hearing rebuttal comments are to be limited to rebutting or supplementing testimony at the hearing)
January 7 Due date for submission of currency post-hearing rebuttal comments (post-hearing rebuttal comments are to be limited to rebutting or supplementing testimony at the hearing)

USTR is requesting comments with respect to any aspect of the proposed including:

For the Currency Investigation

  • Whether Vietnam’s currency is undervalued, and the level of the undervaluation.
  • Vietnam’s acts, policies, or practices that contribute to undervaluation of its currency.
  • The extent to which Vietnam’s acts, policies, or practices contribute to the undervaluation.
  • Whether Vietnam’s acts, policies and practices are unreasonable or discriminatory.
  • The nature and level of burden or restriction on U.S. commerce caused by the undervaluation of Vietnam’s currency.
  • The determinations required under section 304 of the Trade Act, including what action, if any, should be taken.

The notice describes the process for submitting comments. The docket number for this action on regulations.gov is USTR 2020-0037.

For the Timber Investigation

  • The extent to which illegal timber is imported into Vietnam.
  • The extent to which Vietnamese producers, including producers of wooden furniture, use illegal timber.
  • The extent to which products of Vietnam made from illegal timber, including wooden furniture, are imported into the United States.
  • Vietnam’s acts, policies, or practices relating to the import and use of illegal timber.
  • The nature and level of the burden or restriction on U.S. commerce caused by Vietnam’s import and use of illegal timber.
  • The determinations required under section 304 of the Trade Act, including what action, if any, should be taken in the investigation.

The notice describes the process for submitting comments. The docket number for this action on regulations.gov is USTR 2020-0036.