The United States and Vietnam have upgraded their ties during what President Joe Biden in his visit to Hanoi called an “historic moment.”
Ten years after the Obama Administration entered into a Comprehensive Partnership with Vietnam, President Biden and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, in recognition of strides made in mutual trust and understanding, have elevated the two countries’ relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
“We can trace a 50-year arc of progress in the relationship between our nations – from conflict to normalization to this new elevated status that will be a force for prosperity and security in one of the most consequential regions in the world,” said President Biden in remarks during joint press statements with General Secretary Trong.
The deepening cooperation covers a range of issues, President Biden noted, including critical and emerging technologies, particularly around building a more resilient semiconductor supply chain.
Pledging to improve Vietnam’s position in the industry, the United States and Vietnam will launch semiconductor workforce development initiatives supported by initial seed funding of $2 million from the U.S. government, in conjunction with future Vietnamese government and private sector support.
Trade and investment are being expanded in other areas, as well. President Biden pointed to the example of a Vietnamese company that signed a $4 billion deal to build electric vehicles and batteries in North Carolina, which will create more than 7,000 jobs in the United States.
More areas of cooperation include tackling the climate crisis and accelerating Vietnam’s clean energy transition; strengthening global health security and advance treatments for cancer and HIV AIDS; and enhancing security cooperation.
President Biden raised the issue of human rights in his discussions with Vietnamese leaders “as a priority for my Administration and the American people. And,” he said, “we will continue our candid dialogue in that regard.”
People-to-people ties will expand. “They are at the very heart of our partnership,” President Biden said. The United States and Vietnam “will invest in strengthening the skilled STEM workforce, promoting educational exchanges and collaboration among our scientists, our entrepreneurs, innovators to better work together to capture the enormous opportunities of this age of technology.”
“Vietnam is a critical power in the world and a bellwether in this vital region,” declared President Biden. “I look forward to continuing this new chapter in the story of our nations.”