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1 U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement Summary of Key Provisions by Joseph Damond Board Member, U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council U.S. Chief Negotiator, U.S.-Vietnam.

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Presentation on theme: "1 U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement Summary of Key Provisions by Joseph Damond Board Member, U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council U.S. Chief Negotiator, U.S.-Vietnam."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement Summary of Key Provisions by Joseph Damond Board Member, U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council U.S. Chief Negotiator, U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement

2 2 Chapter 1: Trade In Goods (Industrial and Agricultural)

3 3 Trading Rights Vietnam has agreed to open up the right to import and export for the first time. It will allow: 1) all Vietnamese companies the right to trade immediately; 2) all U.S. invested companies the right to trade, in connection with their operations, immediately; 3) U.S. invested companies the right to trade any products (subject to some exceptions) in 3 years; 4) U.S. persons to form joint ventures for the purpose of trading, in three years, with a maximum 49% share; in six years, the maximum U.S. share is 51%. There are limited product exceptions to these rights, where the phase-in period for trading rights is longer.

4 4 MFN Treatment Vietnam commits to Most Favored Nation tariff treatment on all U.S. imports (it imposes a 50% tariff surcharge on countries with whom it does not have MFN relations).

5 5 Tariff Cuts Vietnam has agreed to cut tariffs (typical cut is by one-third to one- half) on a broad range of products of interest to U.S. exporters, including toiletries, film, air conditioners and refrigerators, electrical motors, valves, mobile phones, pagers, video games, lamb, cheese, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, other vegetables, grapes, apples and pears, other fresh fruits, certain flours, soybeans, vegetable oils, prepared meats and fish, pasta, fruit juices. Phase-in period is 3 years.

6 6 Non-tariff Measures Vietnam has agreed to eliminate all quantitative restrictions on a range of industrial and agricultural products (e.g., auto parts, citrus, beef), over a period of 3-7 years, depending on the product.

7 7 Import Licensing Vietnam will eliminate all discretionary import licensing, in accordance with the WTO agreement.

8 8 Customs Valuation and Customs Fees Vietnam shall comply with WTO rules – using transactions value for customs valuation, and limiting customs fees to cost of services rendered – in 2 years.

9 9 Technical Standards and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures In accordance with the WTO standard, technical regulations and sanitary and phytosanitary measures must be applied on a national treatment basis, and be applied only to the extent necessary to fulfill legitimate objectives (e.g., to protect human, animal or plant life).

10 10 State Trading Must be carried out in accordance with WTO rules (e.g., state trading enterprises make any sales and purchases only in accordance with commercial considerations).

11 11 Chapter 2: Intellectual Property Rights

12 12 Vietnam agrees to full TRIPs compliance in all areas in short time frame, including: TRIPs-level Patent and Trademark protection – comply in 12 months TRIPs-level Copyright and Trade Secrets Protection – comply in 18 months Vietnam agrees to TRIPs plus treatment in several areas, including encrypted satellite signals, patent protection for plants and animals, protection of confidential test data submitted to governments. In the case of satellite signal protection, phase in period is 30 months.

13 13 Chapter 3: Trade In Services

14 14 General (Horizontal) Commitments GATS framework of rules (including disciplines on domestic regulation) Existing licenses protected by a Grandfather provision Foreign companies may lease land Top managers and sales people allowed to enter and work

15 15 Sectors Legal Services 100% US equity allowed, including branches; branches receive 5 year, renewable license, and; May consult on Vietnamese laws

16 16 Accounting 100% US equity allowed; Licenses granted on case-by-case basis for 3 years, no limits thereafter May provide services to foreign invested firms for first 2 years, no limits thereafter

17 17 Architectural 100% US equity allowed; May provide services to foreign invested companies for first 2 years, no limits thereafter Engineering 100% US equity allowed; May provide services to foreign invested companies for first 2 years, no limits thereafter

18 18 Computer and related 100% US equity allowed; May provide services to foreign invested companies for first 2 years, no limits thereafter Advertising Joint ventures allowed, with initial limit on US equity share at 49%. In 5 years, limit on US equity increases to 51%; in 7 years, no limit on US equity in JV.

19 19 Market Research Joint ventures allowed, with initial limit on US equity share at 49%. In 5 years, limit on US equity increases to 51%; in 7 years, 100% US equity allowed. Management Consulting Joint ventures allowed (no limits on US equity in JV); in 5 years, 100% US equity allowed

20 20 Telecommunications WTO Basic Telecom Reference paper (requiring pro- competitive regulatory regime) agreed to Value-added Telecom: Joint ventures allowed after 2 years (3 years for Internet services), with 50% limit on US equity;

21 21 Basic Telecom (including mobile cellular and satellite) Joint ventures allowed after 4 years, with 49% US equity limit; Voice Telephone services Joint ventures allowed after 6 years, with 49% US equity limit;

22 22 Audio Visual Joint ventures, with 49% US equity limit allowed; in 5 years, limit raised to 51% Includes film production and distribution, and motion picture projection services Construction and related 100% equity allowed; May provide services to foreign invested companies for first 3 years, no limits thereafter

23 23 Distribution Wholesale distribution: Joint ventures allowed after 3 years, with 49% US equity limit. After 6 years, no limit on US equity in JVs. Longer phase-ins for limited list of sensitive items Retail: One outlet automatically allowed for each retailer; beyond that, on a case by case basis.

24 24 Educational Joint ventures allowed, no limits on US equity; in 7 years, schools with 100% US capital allowed

25 25 Financial Services GATS financial services annex (includes prudential carve- out) agreed to: Insurance Life and other non-mandatory sectors: Joint ventures, with 50% US equity limit, allowed after 3 years; after 5 years 100% US equity allowed Mandatory sectors (motor vehicle, construction related): Joint ventures allowed after 3 years (no limit on US equity share), 100% US equity allowed after 6 years

26 26 Banking and related financial services Non-bank and leasing company providers: Joint ventures allowed (no US equity limit); in 3 years, 100% US equity allowed Banks: US branches allowed. Joint ventures allowed with US equity between 30% and 49%; after 9 years, 100% US subsidiary banks allowed. US equity in privatized Vietnamese banks allowed at same level as participation allowed to Vietnamese investors. Minimum capital requirements: $15 million for branch of US bank; $10 million for joint ventures or 100% subsidiary banks

27 27 Mortgage holding rights: After 3 years, financial institutions with 100% US equity may take mortgage interest in land use rights of foreign invested firms; in case of default of such, may acquire and use mortgages for purposes of liquidation. 100% US equity financial leasing companies, or joint ventures allowed. Investors must have three consecutive profit making years and legal capital of at least $5 million In three years, will provide national treatment with respect to central bank discounting, swap, and forward facilities by US financial service providers.

28 28 Ability to take local currency (dong) deposits by US bank branches: For legal entities with whom bank does not has a credit relationship: may accept deposits, up to 50% of banks legal capital in first year, increasing according to agreed schedule to full national treatment in 8 years (for legal entities with a credit relationship, no limits on dong deposits). For natural persons with whom the bank does not have credit relationship, may accept deposits up to 50% of banks legal capital in first year, increasing according to agreed schedule, to full national treatment in 10 years. For other natural persons, no limits on dong deposits.

29 29 In 8 years, US financial institutions may issue credit cards on a national treatment basis. US banks may place ATM machines at locations other than branches when Vietnamese banks are allowed to do so. Securities-related services R epresentative offices allowed.

30 30 Health and related social services 100% US equity allowed; Minimum investment for hospital: $20 million; minimum for clinic: $2 million; minimum for specialty unit: $1 million

31 31 Tourism and travel related Hotel and restaurants: 100% equity allowed, in parallel with investment to build a hotel. Travel agencies & tour operators: Joint ventures allowed, with 49% U.S. equity limit; in 3 years, equity limit is 51%; in 5 years, no limit on US equity in joint ventures.

32 32 Chapter 4 : Investment

33 33 General Commitments : Grants Expropriation Protection for U.S. investments in Vietnam Right to investor-state dispute settlement, right to choose top managerial personnel. Provisions allowing for free transfer of currency on a national treatment basis (N.B.: Vietnamese currency not fully convertible)

34 34 Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) Vietnam will phase out all WTO inconsistent TRIMs (e.g., local content requirements) in 5 years, and other TRIMs like practices (export performance requirements) over a similar timeframe.

35 35 National Treatment Vietnam makes a general national treatment commitment, with some exceptions.

36 36 Investment screening Will be totally phased out for most sectors over a 2, 6 or 9 year period (depending on the type of sector, e.g, investment in industrial zones or in the manufacturing sector), but Vietnam reserves the right to apply screening in certain excepted sectors.

37 37 Eliminates capital contribution limits in Joint Ventures Current requirement that US share of a JV must be at least 30% is eliminated in 3 years, eliminates requirement to sell US share in the JV to the Vietnamese partner and replaces it with right of first refusal.

38 38 Functioning of Joint-Ventures Eliminates requirement that certain board members be Vietnamese in three years, and sharply limits the types of issues on which board consensus must be reached (i.e., on which Vietnamese members have veto power).

39 39 Discriminatory Pricing Phases out all discriminatory pricing to U.S. investors or persons (utilities, transportation fees, rents, etc.), immediately or over 2-4 year period depending on type of fee.

40 40 Chapter V: Business Facilitation

41 41 Ensures that U.S. persons can conduct routine business practices, such as setting up offices, import products for office use, advertise, and conduct market studies.

42 42 Chapter VI: Transparency and Right to Appeal

43 43 Extensive transparency provisions, requiring Vietnam provide advance notice of all laws, regulations and other administrative procedures relating to any matter covered in the agreement, and requiring their publication, and an indication therein of effective dates and government contact points. Requires all laws governing issues covered in the agreement which have not been published to be made public and readily available.

44 44 Requires designation of an official journal where all such measures will be published. Requires uniform, impartial and reasonable application of all laws, regulations and administrative procedures. Requires formation of administrative or judicial tribunals for review and correction (at the request of an affected person) of all matters covered in the agreement, and affords the right to appeal the relevant decisions. Notice of decisions upon appeal and reasons for decisions appealed shall be provided in writing.


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