What Happened: Vietnamese exports in May were up 7.2 percent from April with imports up 10.6 percent, yielding a $434 million trade deficit, according to customs data released on June 11, the Bangkok Post reported. Exports also rose 7.1 percent year on year in the first five months of 2019, totaling $101 billion.
Why It Matters: Vietnam's economy has continued to perform relatively well amid U.S.-China trade tensions, even as some of its neighbors have suffered. Due to its proximity to China, close ties with Chinese businesses and robust low-end manufacturing sector, Vietnam has become a key avenue for diverting Chinese products and avoiding U.S. tariffs.
Background: The trade war between the United States and China recently reached a new crisis point. The two global adversaries are expected to meet again for talks at the upcoming G-20 summit, but the prospects for a long-term resolution to their outstanding issues remain limited.