The United States is Vietnam’s biggest export market. About 50 per cent of Vietnam’s total textile and garment exports goes to the US. Total exports of textiles and garments from Vietnam to the US gained a 11 per cent year-on-year from January to November 2015. From January to November 2016, Vietnam’s textile and garment shipments to the US edged up 4.7 per cent from the previous year.
The TPP would have eliminated the 17 per cent tariff on US imports of garments from Vietnam and the deal would have given Vietnam-based textile industrialists a great advantage in exporting their products to the US. Even in the absence of TPP, Vietnam’s economy is well positioned to continue growing, with various other trade deals giving it good access to international markets, including the recently negotiated EU free trade deal and other agreements.
Vietnam’s textile, seafood and footwear sectors would remain competitive even without TPP. The country feels its textile and garment exports to the US will increase, with or without TPP. The reason is that while Vietnam’s export turnover has been growing by 12 to 13 per cent each year, revenue from US imports has been growing by just three per cent. Vietnam’s products account for just nine per cent of US’ total textile and garment imports.