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U.S. Trade Representative Schwab Meets with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem

March 18, 2007


Washington DC – U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab and
Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and
Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem met on Friday.  They announced the launch
of negotiations to conclude a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA),
which will serve as a platform on which the two countries will work to further
strengthen their trade and investment ties. 

“I am enthusiastic about our joint vision for the future
of this relationship,” Ambassador Schwab said.  “Vietnam is a
dynamic and rapidly growing economy, and we see a TIFA as an important vehicle
for promoting continuation of the impressive expansion in our trade and
investment relationship that we have witnessed over the past few

The TIFA will establish a formal dialogue under
which the two countries intend to discuss new initiatives to deepen their trade
and investment ties.  It also will provide a forum for monitoring
Vietnam’s implementation of its WTO
and Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) commitments. 

“We are pleased with Vietnam’s
progress so far in implementing its WTO and BTA commitments,” said Ambassador
Schwab.  “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Vietnamese
Government to support these efforts and ensure that American businesses can take
full advantage of the substantial new opportunities in the Vietnamese


is currently the United
States’ 43rd largest goods trading partner with
$9.7 billion in total goods trade during 2006.  The United States exported $1.1 billion worth of
goods to Vietnam last year.  Two-way
trade has grown 500 percent since 2001, when the United States and Vietnam signed a
Bilateral Trade Agreement.  Vietnam became the World Trade
Organization’s (WTO) 150th member on January 11, 2007.  A market of over 82
million people, Vietnam is the 14th most populous
nation in the world, and has experienced economic growth of over 7 percent per
year for the last five years. 

The TIFA would be negotiated under the Enterprise for ASEAN
Initiative (EAI), an initiative which the Bush Administration launched to
strengthen ties with countries in the commercially and strategically significant
Southeast Asian region.