f_0018766_16048 - United States-Vietnam Relations: How Far...

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Spring 2010 The Ambassadors REVIEW 22 United States-Vietnam Relations: How Far We’ve Come Michael W. Michalak United States Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam his year marks the 15 th anniversary of the year the United States re- established diplomatic relations with Vietnam. We will commemorate this important milestone with joint ceremonies, cultural events, symposiums and high level visits. But more important, perhaps, than the tributes we are organizing to mark the occasion is the genuine reflection by both sides on just how far we have come in such a short time. The relationship between the United States and Vietnam has evolved from deep-seated mutual distrust to a robust partnership based on respect and cooperation. Where before the two sides saw little or no common ground on which to base our diplomatic relations, today we collaborate on a wide range of issues, from trade and investment, to education and health, to security and defense. We have our differences, particularly in our approach to human rights, but even in these areas we are engaged in constructive dialogue. We continue to underscore that a free media and functioning civil society would help the Government of Vietnam address the many challenges it faces, such as education reform, corruption and environmental degrada- tion. Through our engagement we are helping ensure that a prosperous, better governed society, and a better partner for the United States, emerges in Vietnam. Why highlight the significance of both sides pausing to reflect during this anniversary year? Because looking back on what we have achieved in such a short time compels us to optimism about what we can accomplish in the future. Our economic relationship with Vietnam is illustrative. Fifteen years ago there was virtually no US investment in Vietnam, and bilateral trade was just $451 million annually. In 2009, the United States was the largest foreign investor in Vietnam and two-way trade reached $15.4 billion. US exports to Vietnam have nearly tripled since 2006. The United States implemented a Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) with Vietnam in 2001, and negotiated a cargo Open Skies agreement in 2008. We recently started negotiations with Vietnam and other partners on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) regional free trade
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course COMM 321 taught by Professor Erinmcclellan during the Spring '11 term at Boise State.

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f_0018766_16048 - United States-Vietnam Relations: How Far...

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