TPO - Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Le Minh Hoan, on behalf of the Government of Vietnam have reached an agreement on illegal timber logging and trade with the United States Government's Chief Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, this agreement is the result of Vietnam's unremitting efforts in negotiating with the US to address the US Government's Section 301 investigation into Vietnam's timber logging and trade.
The signing of the agreement demonstrates the spirit of goodwill and cooperation of the two parties, which is the foundation for sustainable forestry development, serving the interests of the people and businesses of the two countries.
The agreement also demonstrates the Government of Vietnam's commitment to strengthen control over the origin and supply chain of timber, expand export markets, improve forest management institutions, and address illegal timber logging and trade; It also demonstrates Vietnam’s responsibility in building, issuing and implementing legal regulations, ensuring the legal timber origin in line with relevant regulations of international treaties to which Vietnam is a member.
The US side appreciates this agreement because it is the first US trade agreement to promote environmental sustainability, and is a model for the US to cooperate with countries in the Indo-Pacific region and the whole world. This Agreement shall take effect 30 days from the date of signing.
Over the past time, the US is Vietnam's largest and fastest growing wood export market. Export of wood and wood products from Vietnam to the US in 2020 reached USD 7.4 billion, accounting for 57% of the total export turnover of wood and wood products of Vietnam. In the difficult context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the export of wood and wood products in the first eight months of 2021 reached USD6.4 billion (up 58.8% over the same period in 2020).
Earlier, In October 2020, the US Trade Representative (USTR) launched an investigation into Vietnam's timber logging and trade and manipulation of Vietnam's currency under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act.