U.S. – Vietnam Trade and Section 301




On January 7, 2021, WITA held an event looking at the Trump Administration’s investigation of Vietnam under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act.

The 301 investigation  was intended to determine whether Vietnam has undervalued its currency in order to make its products unfairly cheap abroad, and to probe the country’s importation and use of timber that may have been illegally harvested and traded. On December 16, the U.S. Department of the Treasury formally labeled Vietnam a currency manipulator, accusing it of improperly intervening in foreign exchange markets to advantage its own exports.

  • Kenneth I. Levinson, Executive Director, Washington International Trade Association
Remarks and Discussion
  • * Virginia B. Foote, President and CEO of Bay Global Strategies, Hanoi, Vietnam – * Ms. Foote’s remarks are off-the-record. While you may use the information you learn at this event, no comments or statements made by Ms. Foote may be used in any public media, newsletters, blogs or social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. 
  • Lisa Handy, Senior Policy Adviser, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
  • Roger Schagrin, Founder and President, Schagrin Associates
  • Maria C. Zieba, Director of International Affairs, National Pork Producers Council
  • Moderator: Stephen Lamar, President and CEO, American Apparel & Footwear Association
Followed by:
  • Q & A with Audience Moderated by Ken – Webinar attendees are encouraged to use the Q&A function on the Zoom app to submit their questions in real time.
Virginia B. Foote founded Bay Global Strategies LLC to provide clients with critical knowledge and strategic planning for doing business in and with Vietnam. With over 25 years of experience with Vietnam, Ms. Foote provides clients with top notch on-the-ground strategic advisory services, stakeholder engagement, planning and implementation support, and government relations. Ms. Foote is a well known expert on Vietnamese politics, economics and the business environment and formed a partnership with the investment firm Indochina Capital in 2012. 
From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Foote served as President and Partner of Vietnam Partners LLC, providing investment banking and advisory services. For three years prior, Ms. Foote served as Executive Vice President of the US-ASEAN Business Council, merging the US-Vietnam Trade Council members with the US-ASEAN Business Council.
In 1989, Ms. Foote co-founded with former Ambassador William H. Sullivan, the non-profit U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council (USVTC) under the International Center, in Washington DC and remains IC President today. Ms. Foote played a leading role in U.S.-Vietnam normalization, the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, Vietnam’s accession to the WTO, and TPP negotiations. Ms. Foote served as Chair for the U.S. Business Coalition for APEC 2006 and Chair of the U.S.-Vietnam WTO Coalition. She received the U.S. Ambassador’s Award for Citizen Diplomacy in 1999 and the Vietnam President’s Medal of Friendship in 2007. 
She is the past Co-Chair of the Vietnam Business Forum 2014-2016, the premier foreign and domestic business association in Vietnam. Ms. Foote serves as President of the Board of the International Center where she oversees the humanitarian projects of VVAF in Vietnam. She served as past Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, and currently serves as Board member of both the VBF and AmCham.  
In June 2016, Ms. Foote was awarded the Vietnam President’s Friendship Order Medal for active contribution to the normalization and development of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the US. 
Lisa Handy is the Director of Forest Campaigns at the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), where she focuses primarily on illegal logging issues as well as illegal deforestation and land conversion for the production of other forest-risk commodities, and related illicit trade.
Prior to joining EIA in 2009, Ms. Handy worked for five years as Senior Director for Government Affairs at Conservation International, and for seven years in various policy advisor roles at US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.
Lisa holds a Master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and an undergraduate degree from Brown University.
Roger Schagrin is the founder and president of Schagrin Associates, an international trade law and lobby firm in Washington, D.C. For over three decades, he has represented an array of U.S. manufacturers with a concentration in the steel industry on matters related to trade and competition. Mr. Schagrin has successfully obtained relief for clients impacted by unfair trade practices, and the firm has effectively advocated before Congress and other Federal agencies for the enactment of legislation designed to strengthen the U.S. trade laws.
Mr. Schagrin has become widely recognized in the international trade community, testifying on numerous occasions before committees of Congress, and he has published “Result-Neutral Efficiencies by the Department of Commerce in an Era of Budget Austerity,” 25 L. & Pol’y Int’l Bus. 115 (1993). On April 7, 1995 he was on the faculty of “Changes in the U.S. Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws” for the D.C. Bar/George Washington University National Law Center Continuing Education Program. In January 2002, he was again on the D.C. Bar/Georgetown University faculty CLE Program on the subject “Advising Clients on Choosing Between 201 and Dumping Remedies.” In June 2003, he was on the faculty of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business Washington Symposium on International Trade. In March 2005, he was asked to serve on the Trade Law Advisory Group of the U.S.-China Economic Security and Review Commission. The Chambers 2007 Legal Directory said “Roger Schagrin of Schagrin Associates is much in demand among petitioners. He is described as ‘the current dean in the area’ and ‘a true scholar who is ahead of the rest.’” 
Mr. Schagrin obtained is B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. with a concentration in international law from the University of Virginia. He is fluent in Spanish, French, and Portuguese and has worked in each of these languages.  
Stephen E. Lamar is President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the national trade association representing more than 1,000 brands in the apparel and footwear industry. Steve leads a dedicated team of professionals who represent AAFA members before the government, through the media, and in industry settings on key brand protection, supply chain and manufacturing, and trade issues. Steve also advises AAFA member companies on legislation and regulatory policies. Prior to becoming President and CEO, Steve served as Executive Vice President for the association.
Prior to AAFA, Steve spent more than a decade engaged in international public policy work, including stints at the U.S. Commerce Department and in the Peace Corps. A runner, juggler, and genealogist in his spare time, Steve is President of the Washington International Trade Association. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Colgate University and a Master of Arts Degree in International Affairs (with a concentration on African politics and international trade) from George Washington University.
Maria C. Zieba is Director of International Affairs for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). As director of international affairs, Maria Zieba works on NPPC’s trade policy program focusing on opening, maintaining and increasing market access for U.S. pork.
Maria works closely with U.S. and foreign government officials to advance U.S. pork producers’ export objectives. She also represents NPPC in various other stakeholder groups. Maria also serves as a Cleared Advisor on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products, providing input to USDA Secretary Purdue and USTR Lighthizer on key issues affecting U.S. pork exports.
Prior to joining NPPC, Maria was a trade policy manager for the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, where she worked on various trade issues affecting the dairy industry.
Previously, she worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, managing capacity building projects aimed at increasing U.S. agricultural exports to emerging markets.
Maria is a member of the board of directors of the Women in International Trade. She holds a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside with a double major in Political Science-International Affairs and Spanish.
Kenneth Levinson is the Executive Director of the Washington International Trade Association (WITA). WITA is Washington’s largest non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing a neutral forum in the U.S. capital for the open and robust discussion of international trade policy and economic issues. WITA has over 3,750 members, and more than 170 corporate sponsors and group memberships.
Previously, Ken served as Senior Director for Global Government Affairs for AstraZeneca. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Ken served as Senior Vice President and COO at the Washington, DC consulting firm of Fontheim International. Ken started his career on the staff of U.S. Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, where he served as the Senator’s chief advisor for international trade, tax, foreign policy, and national security.
Ken received a Master’s degree in European History from New York University after doing his undergraduate work at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst. Ken also spent a year studying at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Ken and his wife, the Reverend Donna Marsh, live in Bethesda, MD, with their two daughters.