Remarks by President Trump Before Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Phuc of Vietnam

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool Photo via AP)
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                   November 12, 2017

Remarks by President Trump Before Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Phuc of Vietnam

Office of Government
Hanoi, Vietnam
11:33 A.M. ICT

PRIME MINISTER PHÚC:  (No translation provided.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister.  I want to start by saying that the job done by Vietnam and your representatives, including yourself, the President, and everybody that I met — so many — is outstanding with respect to APEC.  This was hosted so beautifully, so professionally.

I got to tour parts of Vietnam, and it’s really looking well.  It’s looking beautiful.  And the people are happy, and the people are waving, and they like the United States; perhaps they like me.  But they were really lined up in the streets by the tens of thousands, and we very much appreciate that.

You are right — I believe this is the longest tour ever made by an American President of Asia.  I’m now going for a day and a half to the Philippines, and then it will be back home to Washington and the United States.  But we have really enjoyed ourselves in Vietnam, and we very much appreciate it.

Important to me is trade, because right now we have a very substantial trade imbalance with Vietnam — approximately $32 billion, which is a tremendous amount of money.  And we have to take care of our American companies and we have to take care of American workers.  And perhaps the administrations previous to me didn’t like the subject, understand the subject — something was wrong — because there are so many problems having to do with trade imbalance.  So we want to get that straightened out very quickly.

We would like you to buy your equipment from the United States.  We make the best equipment, we make the best military gear and planes and anything you can name.  The missiles are in a category that nobody even comes close.

I told before, as you know, a missile was shot into Saudi Arabia recently, from Yemen.  And one of our missile systems knocked it down.  Nobody even knew what happened.  And the missile exploded in air; knocked it down like nothing.  We make the greatest missiles in the world, greatest planes in the world, greatest commercial aircraft in the world.

So we would like Vietnam to buy from us, and we have to get rid of the trade imbalance.  We can’t have the trade imbalance.

Other than that, I think we’re going to have a fantastic relationship, and I look forward to it for many years to come.

Thank you.

11:39 A.M. ICT