Readout of Fourth Meeting of the U.S.-Vietnam Timber Working Group

HANOI, VIETNAM – The United States and Vietnam today concluded the fourth meeting of the Timber Working Group under the Agreement Between the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Government of the United States of America on Illegal Logging and Timber Trade (“Timber Agreement”).  Assistant United States Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources Kelly Milton led the delegation for the U.S. government.

Announced in October 2021, the Timber Agreement addresses U.S. concerns in the first-ever environment-focused investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.  The Agreement secures commitments that will help keep illegally harvested or traded timber out of the supply chain and protect the environment and natural resources. The Section 301 investigation and resulting Timber Agreement show how trade can be used to help create a race to the top.

The Timber Working Group was established to facilitate coordination between the Parties and oversee the implementation of the Timber Agreement. This fourth meeting of the Timber Working Group included detailed exchanges between the Parties regarding Vietnam’s progress in implementing the commitments under the agreement, including amendments to its laws and regulations on timber legality. The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Forest Service also provided updates regarding current and prospective technical assistance and capacity building activities.

USTR is prioritizing an approach to trade and investment policy that promotes supply chain resiliency and environmental protection. The U.S.-Vietnam Timber Agreement and its full implementation is a prime example of executing this approach. The United States will continue to closely monitor Vietnam’s implementation of the Timber Agreement.  The Parties intend to hold the fifth meeting of the Timber Working Group later this year.