The U.s.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (Bta)

After the victory of communist North Vietnam over U.S.-backed South Vietnam in 1975, the United States ended virtually all economic exchanges with unified Vietnam. Trade restrictions included not only those previously imposed only in North Vietnam (see next section), but also the cessation of bilateral humanitarian aid, opposition to financial assistance from international financial institutions (such as the World Bank), a travel ban on the United States in Vietnam and the bilateral trade embargo. Also in the area of market access, the agreement provides protection that allows both parties to temporarily increase tariffs when they are affected by an increase in imports. After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, the United States and Vietnam have not maintained economic relations in more than two decades. [1] Washington extended President Richard Nixon`s trade embargo to all of Vietnam in 1964 [7] and all bilateral trade activities were prohibited. [1] The joint efforts of the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administration to resolve the remains of the missing American soldiers in action (MIA) laid the groundwork for the normalization of bilateral trade relations between the two nations during the Clinton administration. [1] On February 3, 1994, President Bill Clinton ordered the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam. [7] Three years later, in 1997, Pete Peterson was appointed the first U.S. ambassador to Vietnam since 1975. [7] On 13 July 2000, the two governments signed the first Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA). [7] Two sectors of telecommunications, wireless and basic language services, illustrate the differences between the 1999 and 2000 documents.

In the field of wireless telecommunications, under the 1999 agreement, Vietnam would have granted U.S. companies the right to establish joint ventures after three years, with a maximum share of 51% for U.S. companies. Under the 2000 BTA, Vietnam is expected to give U.S. companies the right to create wireless joint ventures after two years (three years for Internet services), with a 50% cap on U.S. equities. Consensus-based decision-making. The official reason for the delay in Vietnam was that it took time to review the agreement among Vietnamese policy makers. Vietnam`s style of consensus on decision-making and the weakness of the country`s current leaders probably broadened this review process: the BTA is the largest agreement ever negotiated by Vietnam, and approval of the agreement was necessary for virtually all of the agreement`s suggestions before Hanoi took such a drastic step.

Moreover, the weakness of the country`s current leaders – VCP Secretary General Le Kha Phieu, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and President Tran Duc Luong – has made it difficult for them to reach consensus on such a controversial issue.

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