My most recent Kiplinger letter had an interesting article about how the current administration is looking at Vietnam as the next target of trade retaliation. More specifically, it says “The U.S. Trade Representative has opened an investigation into Vietnam’s trade practices under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the same law used to justify the administration’s retaliatory tariffs against China”
According to this article, the U.S. trade deficit with Vietnam is now America’s fifth-largest.
But here is the kicker – it says from 2018 to 2019 the U.S. trade deficit with Vietnam increased by 40% from $39 billion to nearly $56 billion, versus a 1% increased from 2017 to 2018. I could be mistaken but that looks to me like somebody is just moving production to avoid tariffs, no?
So, I’ll call on NFDA members and the import community of the fastener industry (because as a member of NFDA you get a subscription to Kiplinger). It appears a lot of stuff coming from China just switched over and is not coming from Vietnam to avoid the tariffs. Is that happening with fasteners? I am not personally involved in importing fastener products from China and I’m really just curious.