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Vietnam - US bilateral trade agreement.
In the afternoon of July 13th (the early morning of July 14th at 12 p.m. in Hanoi’s time) in Washington, Minister of Trade, Mr. Vu Khoan and US Trade representative Madame Charlene Barshefsky officially signed Vietnam - US bilateral trade agreement in Rose Garden next to the White House. President of the US, Bill Clinton held an official conference promulgating the said event. Minister of Trade, Mr. Vu Khoan and Vietnamese officials and the parliamentarians of the US who were ever veterans in the Vietnam War such as Senator of Republican of Arizona State, John MacCain participated in the conference. Though busy as an intermediary at the summit conference on the Middle East at Camp David, President Clinton also came back to the White House to declare the signing of the bilateral agreement, which proves that the Americans regard this as an important event. Briefly speaking at the conference, the president of the US, Clinton said: “From the bitter past, we sowed the seeds for a better future. This agreement once reminded us again that countries which were once enemies to each other may meet for a common ground by which to benefit their nations, forget all about the bitter past, welcome to future, forgive and harmonize.”
Vietnam - US bilateral trade agreement would be in effect when approved by the national congress of both the nations. The US news agency, AP said that when the agreement was enforced, the US had to reduce the tariff rate imposed on Vietnamese goods and services from the current average level of 40% to below 3%. This tariff rate is being applied for most of the other counties. Similarly, Vietnam also reduced the tariff rate imposed on the US goods that were imported into Vietnam, protected the US companies and reduced restrictions on investment of the US in Vietnam.
World Bank estimates that when this agreement is in effect, it will increase Vietnam’s export to the US by 800 million US per annum.