Hanoi, Vietnam, May 24, 2018 – Deputy United States Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish today held wide-ranging discussions with Vietnamese government officials on ways to strengthen the bilateral relationship, resolve priority issues, and reduce the U.S. bilateral goods trade deficit with Vietnam.
Recognizing the tremendous growth of the bilateral economic relationship, Ambassador Gerrish and Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Hue agreed on the importance of further progress and cooperation including on the priority issues raised by President Trump and President Quang in their Joint Statement last November. In particular, Ambassador Gerrish sought Vietnamese cooperation in resolving pressing bilateral issues related to automobiles, agricultural trade, and electronic payment services. He also raised U.S. concerns about Vietnam’s proposed cybersecurity law, including the impact of localization requirements and restrictions on cross-border services for the future development and growth of Vietnam’s economy.
In addition to meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Hue, Ambassador Gerrish met with State Bank of Vietnam Deputy Governor Kim Anh, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Hai, and Vice Minister of Transport Tho. He also met with leaders of the U.S. business community, including the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.
United States trade with Vietnam has expanded from $1 billion in 2001 to $55 billion in 2017. At the same time, the bilateral U.S. trade in goods deficit with Vietnam last year increased to $38 billion, our 5th largest. Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia, with real GDP growth rates above 5 percent every year since 2000.