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U.S. - Vietnam Relations


President Barack Obama shakes hands with Vietnam's President Truong Tan Sang during their meeting in the Oval Office. (FILE)

“I can’t think of two countries that have worked harder, done more, and done better to try to bring themselves together and change history.”

“I can’t think of two countries that have worked harder, done more, and done better to try to bring themselves together and change history,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said during his last visit to Vietnam. “[And] our ties are growing stronger every day.”

In 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama and Vietnam President Trương Tấn Sang launched the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership to advance bilateral relations and highlight the enduring U.S. commitment to the Asia-Pacific rebalance. The partnership provides a framework to facilitate cooperation in political and diplomatic relations, trade and economic ties, and boost people-to-people ties; as well as on science and technology, education, the environment and health, war legacy issues, defense and security; and in the protection and promotion of human rights, culture, sports, and tourism.

Vietnam is a member of several international nonproliferation initiatives, including the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. Vietnam is installing radiation detection equipment with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy to detect and identify weapons of mass destruction at its main commercial port. The United States and Vietnam have also signed an agreement to prevent the trafficking of narcotics.

The United States also seeks to support Vietnam's response to climate change and other environmental challenges, including combatting wildlife trafficking, remediating Agent Orange/dioxin contamination, strengthening the country’s health and education systems, and assisting vulnerable populations.

Since signing the U.S.-Vietnam bilateral trade agreement in 2001, bilateral trade and U.S. investment in Vietnam have grown dramatically from less than $500 million in trade in 1995 to nearly $30 billion in 2013. The United States and Vietnam, along with ten other Pacific nations, are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, with the goal of concluding a high-standard regional free trade agreement.

“As we begin to approach the 20th anniversary of normalized relations,” remarked Secretary Kerry recently while in Hanoi, “we know that a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam that respects the rule of law and human rights will be a critical partner for the United States on many regional and global challenges that we face together.”
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