Celebrating the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership: US Trade Representative’s Visit

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai is on a working visit to Vietnam. This is her first visit to Vietnam and the first economic ministerial visit of the Joe Biden Administration to Vietnam.

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At the reception. Photo: baoquocte.vn
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai at the reception. Photo: baoquocte.vn

According to VNA, during a reception in Hanoi on February 13, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son highlighted the immense potential for cooperation between Vietnam and the United States in areas such as climate change response, energy transition, digital transformation, and green growth.

Tai is on her first visit to Vietnam which is also the first visit at the economic ministerial level of the Biden administration, starting a series of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership.

Son suggested that the United States should promptly fulfill its commitments to supporting Vietnam and other countries in meeting international agreements on climate change response, including the declaration on the Just Energy Transition Partnership.

Vietnam is ready to collaborate with the United States to successfully host the APEC Year 2023, according to the official.

Tai, for her part, stated that the United States places significant value on enhancing partnerships with nations in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region, all while safeguarding the interests of its citizens and workforce domestically.

The United States will prioritize the strengthening of cooperation frameworks to build efficient and sustainable economic and investment ecosystems, thus creating a new driving force for regional economic development, she said.

During her speech, she also discussed the priorities and plans for the APEC Year 2023, which will be hosted by the United States.

The host and guest held discussions on various topics related to bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). They also talked about the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), sub-regional cooperation, climate change response, energy transition, and digital transformation.

The participants emphasized the significance of promoting free, open, and fair trade in accordance with international law. They also stressed the importance of sustainable and inclusive growth in the region, with ASEAN countries playing a vital role.

Last year, the two-way trade between Vietnam and the US reached a staggering USD 123 billion, representing an impressive 11% growth compared to the previous year.

The United States remained the largest importer of Vietnamese goods in January, accounting for a revenue of approximately USD 7.6 billion. On the other hand, China emerged as the leading exporter to Vietnam, with a revenue of USD 8.1 billion.

Politburo member and Minister of Public Security To Lam (L) and visiting US Trade Representative Katherine Tai at their meeting in Hanoi on February 13, 2023. Photo: VNA
Politburo member and Minister of Public Security To Lam (L) and visiting US Trade Representative Katherine Tai at their meeting in Hanoi on February 13, 2023. Photo: VNA

The same day, Politburo member and Minister of Public Security To Lam received the visiting US Trade Representative.

Recognizing the United States as a key trade partner and export market for Vietnam, Lam emphasized the unwavering dedication of Vietnam’s Party, State, and Government in providing favorable conditions for both foreign and foreign-invested enterprises, including those from the United States, in order to foster investment attraction and drive economic development.

The official stated that Vietnam fully supports endeavors to strengthen both bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation mechanisms and initiatives championed by the United States. These efforts aim to ensure peace, stability, and development on a regional and global scale, including the IPEF.

He recommended that the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) further enhance its role in facilitating collaboration between the governments of Vietnam and the United States to bolster the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of providing favorable conditions in areas where Vietnam requires support, such as finance, technology, and human resource development in sectors like digital economy, high technology, clean energy, health, environment, and infrastructure.

At the meeting. Photo: VNA
At the meeting. Photo: VNA

It is crucial to conduct thorough research and actively promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation in combatting fake news. This is especially important considering the rapid expansion of social networking platforms and the integration of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), as mentioned by the speaker.

The official advised the USTR to establish effective collaboration with Vietnamese law enforcement agencies in the investigation, exchange, and verification of information on economic cases involving foreign entities through mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. Additionally, they emphasized the importance of cooperation in preventing and combating transnational and economic crimes, as well as taking rigorous actions against violations of economic laws, such as smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeit goods.

During a recent meeting, Tai highlighted the upcoming bilateral activities between the two nations, with a particular focus on strengthening the economic pillars. She expressed her commitment to close collaboration with Vietnam, especially in the field of e-commerce.

Expressing her satisfaction with the Southeast Asian country’s progress in protecting intellectual property rights, she suggested that both sides bring in experts in this field to facilitate their collaboration and knowledge sharing.

US Trade Representative's Visit Opens Celebration of the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Source: Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper

The Minister of Industry and Trade, Nguyen Hong Dien, also hosted a meeting with the US Trade Representative during her visit to Hanoi.

The two sides emphasized the importance of promoting free, open, and fair trade based on international law and sustainable and inclusive growth in the region, with ASEAN countries playing a central role.

In recent months, there has been a notable advancement in the bilateral trade relations between the two countries, as highlighted by Tai.

In 2023, there will be a plethora of activities in the Vietnam-US relationship. The “commercial pillars” will be vigorously promoted, alongside a firm commitment to close cooperation with Vietnam in the field of e-commerce.

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai visits local business Maison Marou - a gourmet chocolate shop in Hanoi. Source: US embassy in Hanoi
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai visits local business Maison Marou – a gourmet chocolate shop in Hanoi. Source: US embassy in Hanoi

According to a press release from the US embassy in Vietnam, Katherine Tai, the US Trade Representative, will be visiting Hanoi from February 13th to February 15th.

Tai’s trip to Hanoi coincides with the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership in 2023.

Hannah Nguyen