Letter to the House on Jackson-Vanik Waiver for Vietnam (H.J. Res 101)
July 23, 2002
To Members of the United States House of Representatives:
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on whether to overturn the President's "Jackson-Vanik" waiver for Vietnam. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports American business' ability to trade with Vietnam and therefore, opposes H.J. Res. 101.
The President's waiver of Jackson-Vanik is significant because it permits U.S. agencies involved in trade promotion, export assistance, and investment development to help U.S. companies and their workers to export U.S. products to Vietnam. Without access to these programs, American businesses will be placed at a competitive disadvantage in relation to foreign competitors that receive export subsidies from their home governments.
Trade with Vietnam supports thousands of American jobs and benefits American consumers. As the second most populous country in Southeast Asia, Vietnam represents a promising market that holds significant long-term opportunities for U.S. businesses and farmers. Also, trade relations advance U.S. goals of normalizing relations with Vietnam. The U.S. has engaged in a step-by-step approach that led to the signing of a bilateral trade agreement. The bilateral trade agreement, which President Bush signed into law last year, will open Vietnam's markets, bring Vietnamese law into line with international norms, and thereby create more opportunities for U.S. companies.
The House of Representatives last year rejected legislation aimed at overturning the Vietnam trade waiver by a vote of 324-91. We urge you to oppose H.J. Res. 101. Please be aware that the Chamber will consider including votes on or in relation to H.J. Res. 101 as Key Votes in our annual How They Voted Chamber of Commerce vote guide for 2002.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce