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On 2 June 2021, the UK government announced that the CPTPP nations had agreed to the UK’s bid to begin the accession process to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP is a trade agreement between 11 countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam), covering 500 million people. The announcement said the UK will continue to work closely with Japan, as this year’s…

Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry announced that on 9 April 2021, Singapore deposited its instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN and became the first country to complete the official process for ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement. It is understood that China, Japan and Thailand completed their domestic procedures to approve RCEP, but apparently have not deposited their instruments of ratification with ASEAN. RCEP is the world’s largest free trade agreement and…

(Decree No. 18/2021/ND-CP amending Decree No. 134/2016/ND-CP) In brief The government recently issued Decree No. 18/2021/ND-CP (“Decree No. 18”), amending a number of provisions under Decree No. 134/2016/ND-CP and elaborating on the Law on Export and Import Duties. The new decree comes into force on 25 April 2021. Decree No. 18 provides the following key points: Duty treatment for toll manufacturers and contract manufacturersImport duty refund for imported goods that have to be re-exportedPhysical conditions…

On January 22, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice [Docket No. USTR-2020-0037] that USTR has determined that Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to currency valuation, including excessive foreign exchange market interventions and other related actions, taken in their totality, are unreasonable and burden or restrict US commerce, and thus actionable under Section 301. Under section 303 of the Trade Act, the U.S. Trade…

On December 16, 2020, US Department of the Treasury delivered to Congress the semiannual Report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States. Treasury determined that both Vietnam and Switzerland are currency manipulators. For each country, Treasury assessed, based on a range of evidence and circumstances, that at least part of its exchange rate management over the four quarters through June 2020, and particularly foreign exchange intervention, was for…

On 11 December 2020, the UK and Viet Nam jointly announced the conclusion of the UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The announcement said that the UK and Viet Nam enjoy excellent diplomatic relations and increasingly common goals. This is demonstrated by the renewing of the UK-Viet Nam Strategic Partnership for a further ten years in September this year. The Partnership provides a framework for a strong bilateral relationship and outlines key priorities, including low-carbon…