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Vietnam, for example, quietly excluded China's Huawei from its domestic 5G rollout, while its neighbors including even staunch U. At the same time, Vietnam carefully treads the evolving strategic balance against China — its longtime rival and formidable northern neighbor.

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Thus, despite being singled out by the White House as a potential security partner, Hanoi has still kept itself at an arms-length distance from Washington's regional initiatives for fear of complicating its relations with China. And relatedly, while Hanoi generally supports Washington's infrastructural initiatives in the region, it has also shied away from talk of including a potential security bloc. Vietnam's emerging role as a place to dodge tariffs has exacerbated U.

In early July, Washington threatened to impose duties of up to percent on Vietnamese steel imports that originated in either Taiwan or South Korea, shortly after Trump referred to Hanoi as "almost the single worst [trade] abuser of everybody. The latest flare-up in the South China Sea could prompt Vietnam to adopt a more confrontational stance against Beijing elsewhere.

The timing of the threats could not be worse for Hanoi, which is pushing for the United States to change its current nonmarket economy designation which has made Hanoi more susceptible to Washington's anti-dumping tariffs over the years before it expires in Should Vietnam's trade surplus continue to widen, there's also a chance that the White House could reach for the same legal weapon it's used to impose greater tariffs on China by claiming a Section case. Should the White House impose a 25 percent tariff on Vietnamese shipments as it's done on Chinese exports, Hanoi's export revenue would be immediately cut by 25 percent and its gross domestic product cut by 1 percent.


  1. Conflicts of powers;
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As a result, Hanoi has sought to dodge this threat by increasing its purchases of U. Washington has also long pushed Hanoi to reduce its purchases of Russian weapons and, in turn, increase its purchases U. Doing so is currently the safest bet to reduce — or at least, delay — the prospect of becoming the victim of Washington's next trade salvo by helping reduce its trade surplus. But progress has been slow on this front. In October, Vietnam abruptly canceled a dozen defense activities with the United States, including military exchanges, likely in an effort to show Beijing and Moscow that it was holding strong against U.

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However, renewed tensions with Beijing over energy exploration in the South China Sea may reduce Hanoi's previous reservations about fostering closer security relations with the United States. After the two countries' last maritime flare-up in , Hanoi had trodden lightly in the region, careful to keep its oil and gas activities discreet from Beijing.

This development — combined with the threat of being the next target of the United States' trade salvo, and the subsequent toll it would take on Vietnam's economic progress — could make Hanoi more willing than ever to step up its resistance against China and more directly side with the United States. Such a move would free Vietnam to commit more fully to U.

But as tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to rise, doing so carries the risk of warranting Chinese retaliation — whether it be in the form of reduced BRI investments, or more violent clashes in the South China Sea. To empower members to confidently understand and navigate a continuously changing and complex global environment. Sign In. Situation Reports. Analyses Assessments Snapshots Columns. Media Graphics Podcasts Videos. Email Email this article. The U. But with the sixth-largest trade surplus with the United States, Vietnam now risks becoming the target of the White House's next trade salvo, which will force Hanoi to make concessions to evade tariffs that could thwart its economic progress.

Fears of complicating relations with China have so far kept Vietnam from taking the action needed to adequately ease its growing trade imbalance with the United States, such as upping its arms purchases. However, rising tensions in the South China Sea could provide an opening for Hanoi to take a stronger stance against Beijing after decades of delicately balancing between the two great powers. The Big Picture. Gaming the Trade War But Vietnam's deepening integration with the rest of the world has also made it more vulnerable to volatility in global markets, given Hanoi's still-evolving economic foundation.

Balancing Between Great Powers The gains that Vietnam has been able to garner from the trade war is largely the product of the balancing act Hanoi has maintained between great powers over the past 20 years. Inching Away From China? United States. The rules regarding taxes appear in municipal regulations, but the authorisation to levy taxes is voted each year. Taxes are essentially used as a contribution to collective expenditure, as well as having an incentive or dissuasive function.

It is nothing but a compensation, requiring a reasonable relationship between the cost or the value of the service provided and the amount due by the person liable for payment. For example, the installation of ticket machines and parking ticket control in the framework of a general mobility policy are considered to be special services. The legal status of tariffs is more flexible than that of taxes: tariffs cannot be voted each year and the law or regulation must not define the essential elements.

This power belongs to the federal legislator. Based on implicit competence, the Region may restrict the municipal tax capacity if it justifies a connection with one of its powers, if this encroachment upon federal power is necessary in order for it to exercise one of its powers, if the matter is part of a differentiated regime and if the effect of the provisions at issue on this matter remains marginal. The measure also undermines municipal tax collection and therefore appears to affect its actual capacity to exercise its powers art.


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  • Contrary to the applicable tax regime, there are no clauses which reserve this power to the federal legislator. In the framework of the appeal against the order on the organisation of the parking policy, the constitutional judicial authority considered that the Region had the power to prevent the municipalities from continuing to collect tariffs adopted in the framework of road traffic complementary regulations and to substitute it with a regional tariff.

    This involves giving details of the assets and shortcomings of municipalities and the Region. Nevertheless, let us attempt an outline in order to demonstrate the relevance of considering them according to the proposed legal and argumentative framework. Firstly, it refers to the democratic legitimacy of local representatives.

    Because they have been elected, municipal councillors are first-line representatives. The chain of operations in municipal administration is shorter. Information moves upwards more quickly. Municipalities therefore play a role of two-way intercessor. As they are more approachable, the members of the college are the permanent targets of the expectations and reproaches of citizens, including those relating to regional powers.

    Furthermore, municipal authorities are more familiar than their citizens to the many regional stakeholders. But practice can prove this vision wrong.

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    Proximity serves as a pretext for certain vague desires to escape the regional project. It also favours the appropriation of the democratic process by a small number of stakeholders, mainly in the presence of structured pressure groups. Their interventions are not confined to the area of regional powers. Thus said, sometimes it does not exercise its powers and its coordination role.

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    Two factors hinder this objective of coherence. Contrary to the municipality, the Region has exclusive competence only and has difficulty playing the role of integrator. In the same way, the financing of supra-local public infrastructures sports centres, swimming pools, 23 etc. The general grant for municipalities fills this function if its allocation criteria are determined objectively. We shall illustrate this reasoning with a few examples centred on four themes: a better organisation of the Region 3.

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    For example, the municipalities devised municipal mobility plans before the adoption of the regional plan at the initiative of the Region, which subsidised them. Furthermore, three years after the adoption of the order of 22 January regarding the parking policy, one may question the effectiveness of the Parking Agency. A single body for programming and for the study of regional mobility, bringing together all pertinent information and regional motivations regardless of the operator, would allow a more integrated approach. It is intended to simplify the task of citizens in search of housing, simplify management and reduce costs, strive towards more coherent management of the housing policy and allow a link between social housing policy and social policy, which are coordinated at local level by CPASs.

    No matter how ideal, this merging project would probably encounter legal and financial difficulties. We therefore question the potential or underused synergies, in particular in terms of structures and procedures for dialogue or information exchange.


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    • It presents its own institutional characteristics, but could inspire the Brussels project. In Lille, this synergy of functions between the local authorities and the metropolis takes place through the development of places for coordination, impetus and information exchange. In Brussels, this complementarity could involve other levels of authority. Let us examine a few concrete examples in order to understand the importance of developing these synergies, which already exist in certain domains. The same coordination could be considered in terms of mobility, urbanism, harmonisation and management of municipal technical tools, and the harmonisation of municipal regulations.

      The Region could appeal to the federal authorities for the responsibilities imposed on the municipalities to comply with budget neutrality. In this case, the order sets objectives and offers a financial advantage to the municipalities which participate in their realisation. The initiative regarding tax matters order of 19 July could inspire others. There are many applications, from the coordination of trans-municipal cycle paths to the development of public spaces.

      The method consists in combining municipal self-government and a concern for coherence between municipal and regional policies.