Trade between Vietnam and the US increased 21% in January to $1.7 billion, US Commerce Department data show. Vietnam imported $335 million worth of goods from the US (up 29%) and exported $1.4 billion to the US (up 20%).
Leading Vietnamese exports are apparel, footwear and furniture, respectively, all growing substantially, while Vietnam continues to import more cotton, iron, steel, machinery and equipment from the US than anything else – partly because the US has been erecting barriers to reduce imports of Vietnamese seafood.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s $13 billion trade deficit with China is causing increasing anxiety in Hanoi. Most of the imports are clothing, toys, footwear, and food that can be produced domestically. Cell phone imports from China alone are worth $791 billion.
In addition to the trade deficit itself, Vietnamese consumers also worry about quality from China –inferior materials, contaminated productsw, and cheap technologies that are obsolete and/or banned in China.
Overall, Vietnam hopes its export value will be $79 billion and import $93 billion this year.
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