Vietnam – U.S. Trade Relations
Viet Nam and the U.S. established diplomatic relations on July 12 th, 1995, exchanged their first Ambassadors in July 1997, opened the U.S. Consulate General in Hochiminh City and Viet Nam Consulate General in San Francisco in November 1997.
A series of bilateral summits have helped drive the improvement of ties, including President George W. Bush's visit to Hanoi in November 2006, President Triet's visit to Washington in June 2007, and Prime Minister Dung's visits to Washington in June 2008 and April 2010.
Vietnam and the United States signed a Bilateral Trade Agreement in July 2000, which went into force in December 2001. In 2003, the two countries signed a Counternarcotics Letter of Agreement (amended in 2006), a Civil Aviation Agreement, and a textile agreement. In January 2007, Congress approved Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Vietnam. In October 2008, the U.S. and Vietnam inaugurated annual political-military talks and policy planning talks to consult on regional security and strategic issues. In August 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense and Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense held the first round of annual high-level defense talks, known as the Defense Policy Dialogue. Bilateral and regional diplomatic engagement has expanded at ASEAN, which Vietnam chairs in 2010, and continues through APEC.
Since the entry into force of the Bilateral Trade Agreement, commercial ties between the two countries have sharply grown: the 2-way trade value reached nearly 6 billion USD in 2003, a double increase compared to 2002 (2.878 billion USD) and a four-time increase compared to 2001 (1.5 billion USD). The U.S. investment in Viet Nam, to October 2004, reached over USD 1.25 billion USD (not including the US investments through other countries) with 206 projects, ranking 11 th among the largest investors in Viet Nam. At present, there are over 800 American enterprises in Viet Nam. However, along with the grow of economic ties, there emerges a number of disputes relating to issues such as Catfish, Shrimps, textiles...due to American protectionism. In 2009, the United States exported $3.1 billion in goods to Vietnam and imported $12.3 billion in goods from Vietnam. Similarly, U.S. companies continue to invest directly in the Vietnamese economy. During 2009, the U.S. private sector committed $9.8 billion to Vietnam in foreign direct investment. Another sign of the expanding bilateral relationship is the signing of a Bilateral Air Transport Agreement in December 2003. Several U.S. carriers already have third-party code sharing agreements with Vietnam Airlines. Direct flights between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco began in December 2004. The Bilateral Air Transport Agreement was amended in October 2008 to fully open markets for cargo air transportation. Vietnam and the United States also signed a Bilateral Maritime Agreement in March 2007 that opened the maritime transport and services industry of Vietnam to U.S. firms.
Economic and Trade Agreement between Vietnam and U.S.: