VN textiles and garments exports to US increasing with or without TPP

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2017-01-02 15:00:00 – Hanoi

Vietnam’s biggest export market, the US which consumes 50 percent of Vietnam’s total textile & garment export turnover, if TPP takes effect, analysts estimate that Vietnam’s textile & garment export turnover would increase by 30-40 percent in the first year of the agreement implementation, and would increase by twofold after three to four years.

In October 2016 alone, Vietnam exported $9.476 billion worth of textile & garment products to the US. This means that export turnover would reach $16 billion by 2018, an increase of $3 billion, and to $20 billion by 2020.

However, the figures may be unattainable after Donald Trump, who takes office as the 45th US President on January 20, 2017, is against the TPP because of concern about jobs for US citizens, as the domestic industry will have to compete with imports from TPP countries.

Truong Van Cam, Vitas’ secretary general, said that Vietnam will still see its textile & garment exports to the US increasing, with or without TPP.

In recent years, the export turnover to the market has been growing steadily by 12-13 percent per annum, while the US import turnover has been growing by 3 percent only. Vietnam’s products just account for 9 percent of the US total textile & garment imports.

According to Le Quoc An, a textile & garment expert, and former chair of Vitas, there are three possible scenarios for Vietnam.

First, TPP could take effect, but the content of the agreement would change. If so, Vietnam’s export turnover to the US would be 50 percent lower than initially designed.

Second, TPP fails. If so, Vietnam’s exports to the US will still enjoy MFN like other WTO members. In this case, exports would depend on US economic performance

Third, there is no TPP, and the Trump administration imposes a monitoring scheme and anti-dumping duties on imports from Asia, including Vietnam. If so, Vietnam’s exports would decrease.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, head of VEPR, is of the view that the US withdrawal from TPP won’t affect Vietnam’s exports to the market. However, textile & garment exports would not increase as sharply as initially planned.

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