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Vietnam, with larger trade surplus than Japan, draws US ire

Currency manipulator label likely to hamper 'China plus one' strategy

Garment workers seen at a factory in Haiphong: Vietnam now has the fourth-largest trade surplus against the U.S. (Photo courtesy of the International Labour Organization)

HANOI -- Washington's decision to designate Vietnam as a currency manipulator was triggered by the Southeast Asian country's rapidly expanding trade surplus against the U.S.

Vietnam's surplus has grown to $58 billion in the past 12 months leading up to June, ranking Hanoi fourth among American trade partners and surpassing Japan's $57 billion. In the first 10 months of this year, Vietnam ranks in the top three, trailing only China and Mexico.

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