U.S.-Vietnam Relations & Trading

U.S.-Vietnam Relations & Trading

Trade Agreements: The United States and Vietnam held numerous discussions throughout 2011 under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, including convening at the Ministerial level in May 2011. The TIFA provided a forum to help monitor and implement Vietnam’s WTO commitments, address bilateral trade issues, and promote increased trade and investment. In June 2008, the two countries launched negotiations for a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Three rounds of BIT negotiations were held in 2009 and 2010.

Vietnam and the United States are partners in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. In this negotiation, the United States is seeking to develop a high-standard, 21st-century regional trade agreement that will support the creation and retention of jobs in the United States and promote economic growth. In addition to the United States and Vietnam, the TPP negotiating partners include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, and Singapore. Starting with a group of like-minded countries, the goal is to expand the agreement to include countries across the Asia Pacific, which together represent more than half of global output and over 40 percent of world trade.

Trade in Goods with Vietnam

2015: U.S. trade in goods with Vietnam

NOTE: All figures are in millions of U.S. dollars on a nominal basis, not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified. Details may not equal totals due to rounding.

Month Exports Imports Balance
January 2015 528.0 2,693.4 -2,165.3
February 2015 505.2 2,330.2 -1,825.0
March 2015 598.0 3,214.9 -2,616.9
April 2015 520.4 2,990.0 -2,469.5
May 2015 516.0 3,131.6 -2,615.6
June 2015 451.3 3,403.5 -2,952.2
July 2015 471.4 3,323.8 -2,852.4
August 2015 869.7 3,620.4 -2,750.7
September 2015 654.8 3,497.9 -2,843.1
October 2015 533.9 3,493.7 -2,959.8
TOTAL 2015 5,648.6 31,699.3 -26,050.6

2014: U.S. trade in goods with Vietnam

Month Exports Imports Balance
January 2014 420.8 2,431.3 -2,010.5
February 2014 540.3 2,035.4 -1,495.1
March 2014 528.8 2,121.2 -1,592.4
April 2014 468.1 2,334.8 -1,866.7
May 2014 493.7 2,382.0 -1,888.3
June 2014 394.3 2,529.2 -2,134.9
July 2014 410.1 2,683.8 -2,273.6
August 2014 413.2 2,595.5 -2,182.3
September 2014 415.9 2,870.7 -2,454.8
October 2014 494.3 3,124.5 -2,630.2
November 2014 556.5 2,860.7 -2,304.2
December 2014 598.2 2,619.4 -2,021.1
TOTAL 2014 5,734.4 30,588.5 -24,854.2

2013: U.S. trade in goods with Vietnam

Month Exports Imports Balance
January 2013 431.9 1,997.1 -1,565.3
February 2013 438.9 1,769.4 -1,330.5
March 2013 539.2 1,578.0 -1,038.8
April 2013 355.3 1,774.8 -1,419.5
May 2013 389.0 1,877.6 -1,488.7
June 2013 398.5 2,150.2 -1,751.7
July 2013 348.8 2,413.0 -2,064.2
August 2013 378.7 2,103.0 -1,724.3
September 2013 363.8 2,162.0 -1,798.3
October 2013 449.6 2,479.4 -2,029.8
November 2013 481.6 2,221.6 -1,740.0
December 2013 461.1 2,127.9 -1,666.8
TOTAL 2013 5,036.3 24,654.0 -19,617.8

U.S.-Vietnam Trade Facts

Vietnam is currently our 27th largest goods trading partner with $29.7 billion in total (two ways) goods trade during 2013. Goods exports totaled $5.0 billion; Goods imports totaled $24.6 billion. The U.S. good trade deficit with Vietnam was $19.6 billion in 2013.

Exports

Vietnam is currently the 44th largest export market for U.S. goods. Corresponding U.S. imports from Vietnam were $30.6 billion, up 24.0 percent. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Vietnam was $24.9 billion in 2014, an increase of $5.2 billion from 2013.

U.S. goods exports in 2014 were $5.7 billion, up 13.7 percent from the previous year.

U.S. goods exports to Vietnam in 2013 were $5.0 billion, up 8.4% ($389 million) from 2012.

The top export categories (2-digit HS) for 2013 were: Electrical Machinery ($611 million), Miscellaneous Grain and Seed (soybeans) ($556 million), Machinery ($426 million), Cotton/Yarn/Fabric ($403 million), and Edible Fruit and Nuts ($309 million).

U.S. exports of agricultural products to Vietnam totaled $2.1 billion in 2013, the 12th largest U.S. Ag export market. Leading categories include: cotton ($401 million), soybeans ($319 million), dairy products ($240 million), and tree nuts (walnuts, almonds) ($237 million).

Imports

Vietnam was the United States’ 20th largest supplier of goods imports in 2013. U.S. goods imports from Vietnam totaled $24.6 billion in 2013, a 21.6% increase ($4.4 billion) from 2012.

The top imports categories (2-digit HS) for 2013 were: Knit Apparel ($4.7 billion), Woven Apparel ($3.3 billion), Footwear ($2.9 billion), Furniture and Bedding ($2.6 billion), and Machinery ($2.1 billion).

U.S. imports of agricultural products from Vietnam totaled $1.5 billion in 2013, the 20th largest ag supplier. Leading categories include: tree nuts ($527 million) and coffee (unroasted) ($468 million).

Trade Balance

The U.S. goods trade deficit with Vietnam was $19.6 billion in 2013, a 25.5% increase ($4.0 billion) over 2012.

Investment

The stock of U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam was $1.4 billion in 2013 (latest data available), up from $1.1 billion in 2012.

U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam (stock) was $1.1 billion in 2012 (latest data available), up 10.4 percent from 2011.

Vietnam FDI in the United States (stock) was $44 million in 2012 (latest data available), up 158.8 percent from 2011.

Human Rights

Human rights are perhaps the most contentious issue in the relationship. Although disagreements over Vietnam’s human rights record have not prevented the two sides from improving relations, they appear to limit the pace and extent of these improvements. Vietnam is a one-party, authoritarian state ruled by the VCP, which appears to be following a strategy of informally permitting (though not necessarily legalizing) most forms of personal and religious expression while selectively repressing individuals and organizations that it deems a threat to the party’s monopoly on power. Most human rights observers contend that for the past several years, the government has intensified its suppression of dissenters and protestors.

Some human rights advocates have argued that the United States should use Vietnam’s participation in the TPP talks as leverage to pressure Hanoi to improve the country’s human rights situation. Also, since the 107th Congress, various legislative attempts have been made to link the provision of U.S. aid, as well as arms sales, to Vietnam’s human rights record.

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