Doing Business With Vietnam: No Subsidies Needed

Your article "What's keeping U.S. companies out of Vietnam? The U.S." (International Business, Apr. 17) betrays an interesting perspective on free trade. You state that Vietnam is "anything but a level playing field for Americans." Your justification? That Vietnam is "ineligible for Ex-Im Bank financing, OPIC guarantees, risk insurance, and other subsidized credits."

Do U.S. companies really require subsidization from the taxpayer before they regard the playing field as level? This would be a sad reflection on a powerful and once-efficient economy. It also raises the issue that most Americans seem unaware of--that their budget deficit is in part attributable to a farm and trade regime that subsidizes the likes of China while it leaves Vietnam (for now) out in the cold.

Steve Armitage

Petersham, Australia

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