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Ambassador Kirk and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang Meet

This afternoon, Ambassador Kirk met with Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The meeting provided an opportunity for a broad discussion on the two-way trade and investment relationship as well as key issues relating to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. This dialogue was the culmination of two days of technical discussions last week in Montana covering in detail the full range of issues in our bilateral trade and investment relationship.

Ambassador Kirk and Minister Hoang discussed preparations for the next round of TPP negotiations, to be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam during the week of June 20, 2011. Ambassador Kirk updated Minister Huong on the outcome of the TPP Ministerial meeting held on the margins of the APEC meetings in Big Sky last week, including the commitment of ministers to conclusion of a high-standard agreement, with ambitious market access outcomes. Minister Hoang assured Ambassador Kirk that Vietnam is committed to that objective and would work toward a strong result in all areas, including goods, services, and investment.

Ambassador Kirk and Minister Huy Hoang
Ambassador Kirk and Vietnamese Minister Vu Huy Hoang

Ambassador Kirk and Minister Hoang also discussed a range of bilateral trade issues, including addressing issues related to market access into Vietnam for U.S. beef and variety meat products, efforts to enhance intellectual property rights protection in Vietnam, and progress on reforms of Vietnam’s labor laws. Minister Hoang noted Vietnam’s interest in gaining market access for additional tropical fruits.

The United States and Vietnam have developed a robust trade relationship since Vietnam’s accession to the WTO and the launch of the TIFA in 2007. U.S. goods exports to Vietnam in 2010 totaled $3.7 billion, up almost 20 percent since 2009. U.S. exports of agricultural products to Vietnam totaled $1.3 billion in 2010, up more than 40 percent over the previous year.