Ambassador Osius’ Remarks at Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: From Ratification to Implementation

Ambassador Osius’ Remarks at Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: From Ratification to Implementation

Sông Hồng Thủ Đô Hotel, Vinh Phuc
8:00 a.m. Friday, March 4, 2016


Chào tất cả quý vị!

Rất cảm ơn quý vị đã mời tôi phát biểu tại cuộc hội thảo quan trọng này. Tôi rất vui được có mặt tại đây để cùng thảo luận với quý vị về Hiệp định Đối tác Xuyên Thái bình dương (còn gọi là TPP).

Trước hết, tôi xin chúc mừng Việt Nam đã cùng các nước đối tác hoàn tất đàm phán vào cuối năm ngoái, và ký Hiệp định này vào tháng trước tại New Zealand. Đó là một thành tựu rất quan trọng, và sẽ định hình tương lai của Việt Nam – và tương lai của quan hệ Hoa Kỳ – Việt Nam – trong nhiều thập kỷ tới.


In 2008, when the TPP negotiations began, many were skeptical of Vietnam’s participation. I heard them ask how could a developing country hope to participate in a high-standard trade agreement with advanced economies like the United States, Singapore, Canada, or Australia? I heard them say Vietnam would never be able to meet TPP’s high requirements on intellectual property, or labor, or market access. There were doubters back then, but I was not one of them. Why? Because I had seen the determination of the Vietnamese people, ever since I first lived here in the mid-1990s. I could see that Vietnam has the audacity to take on big challenges in order to develop its economy and to better the lives of its people. When I worked in Hanoi in 1995 I watched a country begin to transform its entire economic system—an enormous undertaking. In 2001 again we saw Vietnam’s boldness in signing the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement. Then in 2007 Vietnam joined the WTO, again taking on new, more ambitious commitments.

Early this year, the Twelfth Party Congress reaffirmed the policy of comprehensive international integration, and issued a strong endorsement of joining TPP. More importantly, I knew that the Vietnamese people never backed down from a challenge, no matter how big, if overcoming that challenge was in the interest of Vietnam and its people. We’ve seen that, well, for centuries now.

So congratulations for showing that Vietnam and its people are up to the challenge and ready to make the next bold choice for their prosperity: to ratify and implement the TPP. It is now, in workshops like these that the hard work begins again. Ratifying and implementing TPP will be a challenge for all countries, and Vietnam is no exception.

Over the coming months, in the United States, we will have our own national conversation about the pros and cons of TPP. Our Congress and our people will debate the agreement. This debate will be loud, and at times messy, but it will be open and frank. That is the American way.

In Vietnam, you will have your own conversation about TPP, and the National Assembly will play a central role. I hope that you too have an honest and open discussion about TPP—with the government, with business organizations, and most importantly, with the Vietnamese people themselves. If and when you decide to ratify the agreement, then the hard work of implementation begins. You in the National Assembly will find yourself writing new laws and changing old ones. Vietnam’s workforce will need to be trained and equipped with the latest skills to take advantage of future economic opportunities. You will need to improve and upgrade infrastructure to facilitate greater trade. Small and medium enterprises may require assistance to increase their competitiveness. You will want to promote innovation and partnerships with the private sector to create an entrepreneurial environment and help entrepreneurs link Vietnam with global value chains.

Translating the most complex trade agreement with the highest international standards ever negotiated into reality will be difficult and exhausting work. But this is essential to ensure Vietnam receives the enormous benefits of TPP. You know the statistics well, but they are worth repeating. The World Bank estimates your GDP will grow 10 percent more between now and 2030 than it would without TPP. This is the biggest gain of any TPP country. A different study estimates that your exports will grow 30 percent more between now and 2030 than they would without TPP. The benefits for Vietnam are huge and include increased and sustained economic growth, better market access, more foreign direct investment and enhanced value chain products. Finally on implementation, let me close by making two points. First, I encourage you to move quickly and start the work ahead sooner, rather than later. There is much to do, and I look forward to watching your progress in the months ahead.

Finally, I’d like to remind you of the “P” in “TPP”: Partnership. This agreement is a partnership: a partnership among 12 countries, and a partnership between the United States and Vietnam. And what do partners do? They cooperate. They help each other out. And I’m proud that going forward, the United States will be supporting you as you research and implement the agreement, and long after it enters into force. We will be there—as partners, and as equals—helping you continue modernizing your economy and bettering the lives of your people. That’s what partners do.


Một lần nữa, tôi cảm ơn quý vị đã quan tâm đến những ý kiến chia sẻ của tôi về Hiệp định quan trọng này. Chúng tôi mong được tiếp tục hợp tác cùng quý vị trong quá trình thực hiện Hiệp định này trong những năm sắp tới.

Xin cảm ơn!