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Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook, 2011 – 2020e (Jun 26, 2012)

VN-US Trade 2000-2020e (rev. Jun 26, 2012)

HCM City, Jun 26, 2012. Despite the difficult domestic and international economic environment, Vietnam – U.S. trade in 2011 continued its steady increase, up almost 20% over 2010. Based on four months trade data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, bilateral trade may increase by about 10% in 2012.

Total bilateral trade in 2011 was about US$ 21.8 billion, with Vietnam’s exports to the U.S. about $ 17.5 billion (up 18%), and imports from the U.S. about $ 4.3 billion (up 17%), demonstrating once again that manufacturing foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade are strong and stable factors that support Vietnam’s economic and social development.

Total Vietnam – U.S. trade in 2012 may reach about US$ 24.0 billion, with Vietnam’s exports to the U.S. about $ 19.3 billion (up 10%), and imports from the U.S. about $ 4.7 billion (up 9%). This estimate is based on four months data from the U.S. Department of Commerce (see source below).

Growth of Vietnam’s apparel exports to the U.S. is likely to slow because of increasing costs, increased competition from countries such as India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Bangladesh, not to mention Cambodia and Myanmar, and reduced demand in the United States. The hope is that exports of “modern manufacturing” and services will take up the slack.

If present trends continue, Vietnam – U.S. trade in 2020 may reach about US$ 45 billion a year, Vietnam’s exports to the U.S. about US$ 36.4 billion, and U.S. exports to Vietnam about US$ 8.6 billion.

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Vietnam – U.S. Trade before BTA, 1996-2000.

Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook 2011 – 2020e (Jan 24, 2012)

Source of data

US Department of Commerce Trade Data
US Department of Commerce Apparel Imports Date
Vietnam Trade Data: General Statistics Office of Vietnam

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FDI prospects in textile, dyeing industry based on TPP rules-of-origin

HCMC, Apr 19, 2012. Many groups of foreign enterprises from South Korea, Japan and Taiwan have come to Vietnam to explore investment opportunities in the textile and dyeing sector, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) said.

Nguyen Van Tuan, deputy secretary and head of the association’s HCMC branch, told the media on the sidelines of a conference in HCMC on Wednesday that these foreign investors were hoping to capitalize on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The investment potential of such enterprises is high, and they are seeking sites to make investments, he added.

The TPP agreement is still under negotiation, and the U.S. is a large market which accounts for 43% of Vietnam’s export turnover of textile and apparel.

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New Strategic Partners U.S. and Vietnam Begin Tough TPP Trade Talks • Amb Raymond Burghardt

Mar 4, 2012. Vietnamese and Americans joined together in Hanoi last December for a happy celebration, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the entrance into force of the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement signed in December, 2001. The gathering of current and former trade negotiators, diplomats, and business leaders exchanged witty anecdotes about who had been the toughest negotiator. However, the main focus for both American and Vietnamese participants was on the positive prospects for future US-Vietnam relations across the spectrum of trade and strategic common interests.

For those of us who served in Vietnam during the war years, this celebration was the latest reminder of the remarkable transformation of a relationship from one of bitter foes to strategic partners. Ties between the United States and Vietnam have steadily improved since they were formally normalized in 1995, but the pace has accelerated during the past three years, motivated in part by shared concern over China’s aggressive maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Washington views Vietnam as a rapidly developing mid-sized country of some 90 million people, and Hanoi has been increasing its leadership role in Southeast Asia, a region that has America’s renewed attention. In turn, the Vietnamese leadership seeks regional stability, global integration, new foreign investment, and markets for its export industries, goals that require good relations with the United States.

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Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook, 2011 – 2020e (Jan 24, 2012)

Jan 24, 2012 AmCham Vietnam. Despite the difficult domestic and international economic environment, Vietnam – U.S. trade in 2011 continued its steady increase, up almost 20% over 2010.

Total bilateral trade in 2011 was about US$ 22 billion, with Vietnam’s exports to the U.S. about $ 17.5 billion (up 17%), and imports from the U.S. about $ 4.5 billion (up 19%), demonstrating once again that manufacturing foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade are strong and stable factors that support Vietnam’s economic and social development.

If present trends continue, Vietnam-U.S. trade in 2020 may reach about US$ 44 billion a year, Vietnam’s exports to the U.S. about US$ 34 billion, and U.S. exports to Vietnam about US$ 10 billion.

VN-US Trade, 2000-2020e

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VN-US Trade before BTA, 1996-2000.

Source of data

US Department of Commerce Trade Data
US Department of Commerce Apparel Imports Date
Vietnam Trade Data: General Statistics Office of Vietnam

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Baskin-Robbins Signs Master Franchising Agreement to Develop in Vietnam

Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, announced that the company has signed a master franchise agreement with Blue Star Food Corporation, a Vietnamese food manufacturing company, to develop the brand in Vietnam. The agreement calls for approximately 50 Baskin-Robbins restaurants to be opened in that country over the next several years. The first three stores under the agreement open this week in Ho Chi Minh City.

This past July, Baskin-Robbins celebrated the opening of its 4,000th location outside the United States with its first shop in Singapore. With the opening in Vietnam, Baskin-Robbins now has over 6,600 locations in nearly 50 countries.

The new, three-story restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City features Baskin-Robbins’ new international store design, which includes relaxing lounge-style seating, iconic “pink spoon” door handles and textured walls reminiscent of Baskin-Robbins waffle cones, an expanded topping station, interactive LCD menu displays and improved dessert displays for modeling ice cream cakes and sundaes. The shop’s official grand opening will be celebrated with much fanfare, including a ceremony complete with local dignitaries and a ribbon cutting.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Summary: Trade Ministers’ Report to Leaders Nov 2011


Endorsed by TPP Leaders, November 12, 2011

Our negotiating teams have held nine rounds of negotiations and we are pleased to report that they have established the broad outlines of a next-generation, transformative agreement that will further elevate our trade and investment relationships, create the foundation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, and support jobs, economic growth, and higher living standards in our countries. Negotiating an agreement of this scope and ambition is a complex and time-consuming exercise, but we are confident that the successful development of this framework will provide us the structure and momentum we need to successfully conclude this agreement. Below we detail the five features that will define this historic agreement and set a new standard for trade agreements in the future.

(1) Comprehensive Market Access

We have agreed to pursue an agreement that is comprehensive and ambitious in all areas, eliminating tariffs and other barriers to trade and investment. The nine countries recognize that by doing so, we can best promote trade and investment among us and create and retain the jobs that trade supports. We have made headway in our work to negotiate the market access packages for goods, services and investment even as we work to address the specific sensitivities between us and build upon previous free trade agreements. Our goal is to have comprehensive, duty free access to each other’s goods markets and restrictions on services lifted simultaneously so as to create new opportunities for our workers and businesses and immediate benefits for our consumers.

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Vietnam, Japan to open deputy minister defense dialogue

Tokyo, Nov 1, 2011. Vietnam and Japan will open a deputy ministerial level defense dialogue as part of a strategic partnership agreement signed Monday, Vietnam News Agency reported.

According to the news agency, the agreement was signed between Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihiko Noda. Dung is now on a four-day visit to Japan that began Sunday.

The leaders agreed that peace and stability in the East Sea is in the international community’s common interest, and that they welcomed the passing of the Declaration of Conduct in the East Sea and appealed for the compliance with it.

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Germany’s Merkel visits Vietnam to boost trade amid European debt crisis

Oct 11, 2011. Merkel and Vietnamese Prime Minister Dung signed a “strategic partnership” agreement similar to ones Vietnam has signed with seven other countries including China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.

Speaking at a joint news conference, Dung said there is room for the two countries to expand their trade, which stood at $ 5 billion last year.

Germany is Vietnam’s largest European trading partner. Vietnam’s lateral trade with China and the United States stands at more than $ 30 billion and more than $ 20 billion respectively.

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52 Congressmen Sign Letter Urging Textile Strong Rules of Origin in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

June 1, 2011

Ambassador Ron Kirk
600 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20508

Dear Ambassador Kirk:

As members of the United States House of Representatives representing districts with substantial textile and apparel industry interests, we write regarding the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. While we understand and appreciate the broad trade and geopolitical opportunities presented by the TPP, this agreement poses unique challenges for the U.S. textile and apparel industry, especially with the inclusion of Vietnam.

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Textiles, Vietnam, and the TPP

Even though ongoing talks around the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement involve nine nations, for the US textile industry Vietnam is seen as by far the biggest threat.

The sector opposed Vietnam’s inclusion even before discussions began back in March 2010, and now the negotiations are heading into their sixth round later this month, a concerted campaign is underway to negotiate strong textile and apparel rules into the pact.

Textiles is a sensitive industry for the US, and at the heart of concerns are fears that the free trade agreement will not only flood American markets with Vietnamese clothing, but also provide limited opportunities for US yarn and fabric makers.

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