The U.S. Senate delegation said they support Vietnam and ASEAN’s stance on issues at the South China Sea during a Friday meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
At the reception for the delegation, led by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, Chinh said Vietnam has always valued its comprehensive partnership with the U.S. and the fact that both countries continued holding high-level exchanges over time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
Chinh requested both countries to continue bolstering cooperation regarding the economy, commerce, investment, science and technology, education and training, digital transformation and climate change response, among other fields.
He also hoped that the U.S. Senators would support opening up the market and limiting anti-dumping investigations and other trade defense measures on Vietnamese goods, especially agriculture and aquaculture products. Chinh also requested the U.S. Congress to use resources to cooperate with Vietnam to resolve wartime consequences, as well as providing opportunities for the Vietnamese community in the U.S.
The U.S. Senators said they support a strong, independent and prosperous Vietnam, as well as its independence, sovereignty and political institution. They said they would strive to bolster the two countries’ relations, commerce and investment, as well as supporting negotiations for bilateral and multilateral trade agreements where the two countries are a part of.
The Senators said they support Vietnam and ASEAN’s stance on issues at the South China Sea, stressing the need to maintain peace, stability, freedom, security and safety in the waterway, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.
Vietnam and the U.S. normalized relations in 1995, and upgraded their relationship to comprehensive partnership in 2013. Bilateral trade between the two reached over $123.86 billion in 2022, a 11% increase from 2021. The U.S. is the largest export market, and the second largest commercial partner for Vietnam.
The U.S.’s direct investments into Vietnam reached over $11 billion, with over 1,200 projects, placing it 11th among all countries and territories that directly invest into Vietnam.
Around 30,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the U.S., contributing $1 billion to its economy.
In March, General Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong had a dialogue with U.S. President Joe Biden, requesting the two countries to place economic, scientific and technological cooperation to be the centerpiece and drive for their relations. Biden meanwhile said Vietnam is an important partner and that the U.S. supports an independent and prosperous Vietnam.