WASHINGTON, D.C./HANOI, VIETNAM—Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and AmCham Hanoi hosted the annual U.S.-Vietnam Business Summit, marking the 25th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam. This year’s summit presented a unique opportunity to both celebrate the progress the two countries have made to further all aspects of their relationship while acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead.
“The potential for increased trade and investment is vast,” said U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant during his address to the nearly 300 online and in-person attendees. “The U.S. private sector is eager to work with both governments to take concrete and specific steps to seize opportunities to deepen our commercial relationship. But there is still work to do on both sides.”
During his remarks, Brilliant raised concerns about the administration’s recent announcement to launch a Section 301 investigation into alleged Vietnamese currency undervaluation as well as timber imports.
“At a time when the United States is trying to strengthen ties to allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region to mitigate supply chain risks and reduce reliance on China, Vietnam stands out as a valuable and willing partner. The Chamber is concerned that unprecedented unilateral actions will undermine our strategic and commercial objectives. We need to address our differences in a consultative, collaborative, and coordinated manner.”
Recognizing the difficulty of a full-blown FTA at this time, the U.S. Chamber and AmCham have proposed enhancing the commercial relationship through an upgrade of the existing Trade and Investment Framework Agreement as previously outlined in a white paper released at last year’s summit. The white paper is a roadmap to achieve real, forward-looking progress and calls for a series of narrow, discrete agreements under the TIFA umbrella, including in digital economy, energy, IP, and trade facilitation.
“These important functional areas will allow us to upgrade the relationship in practical ways, while laying the foundation for deepened economic engagement over time,” said Brilliant. “Our relationship is a vital and valuable one, on many fronts, and it enjoys the strong support of both sides, in government and in the private sector.”
The summit included discussions on a wide range of issues important to the commercial partnership, including: promoting sustainable investment and policies; driving future growth through the digital economy; addressing Vietnam's energy development needs; and navigating Asia’s supply chain and manufacturing landscape in a post-COVID world.
Featured speakers at this year’s summit included His Excellency Hà Kim Ngọc, Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States; The Honorable Daniel J. Kritenbrink, United States Ambassador to Vietnam; The Honorable Adam Boehler, CEO, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation; His Excellency Vũ Quang Minh, Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; The Honorable Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State, & Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group; The Honorable John Kerry, Former Secretary of State & Senator from Massachusetts; Ms. Cindy McCain, Widow of United States Senator John McCain from Arizona; His Excellency Lê Văn Bàng, Former Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States