HANOI - Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh is pressing for closer economic and technological ties with the United States during his trip to America a week after the two countries upgraded diplomatic ties.
Chinh, in a meeting with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai in Washington, sought to hasten the designation of Vietnam as market economy status by the US, according to a statement on the Vietnam government’s website. The US said it would "expeditiously consider" the request during President Joe Biden's visit to Hanoi last week. The US currently classifies Vietnam as a "non-market economy", which can be disadvantageous to Vietnamese exporters during anti-dumping petitions.
Chinh also asked the US to further open its market for Vietnamese goods, such as textiles, footwear and agricultural products, and not apply trade defense measures on products from the country, according to the statement.
The prime minister's US visit comes as his government works to boost a struggling export-dependent economy amid a global slowdown in demand for Vietnamese goods.
Vietnam's exports dropped for a sixth straight month in August, the longest slump in 14 years. The country's gross domestic product grew 3.72% in the first half, the slowest pace of expansion over that time period in at least a decade, excluding the coronavirus pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.
The prime minister also sought increased technology cooperation between the two countries, particularly in helping Vietnam build a semiconductor supply chain, according to the government post.