Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang asked the US to take concrete measures to facilitate imports from Vietnam during a meeting with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk in Singapore on July 22.

Hoang cited shrimp, tra and basa fish, fruit and garments as hot issues in bilateral trade, saying the US should reconsider its treatment of these products. He called on US trade and other relevant authorities to express themselves actively and objectively on the subject of anti-dumping lawsuits against Vietnamese imports.

US authorities should not integrate non-economic issues into bilateral trade relations and should prevent protectionist measures from hindering economic activity and the flow of trade, as overwhelmingly agreed upon by members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum at the ongoing ministerial meeting, Hoang emphasised.

For his part, Ron Kirk pledged to work closely with Vietnam in removing trade barriers so as to widen the openness of its market to products from the Southeast Asian country.

The US trade representative said the two countries should speed up negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to establish a firmer legal groundwork for investment, especially in terms of drawing a large number of US corporations and consortiums.

He also sought stronger cooperation with Vietnam in the upcoming negotiations of a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) for strategic economic relations.

Both sides agreed to more effectively use the early warning system in an effort to promptly resolve trade disputes.

They also pointed out the need to speed up the progress of taskforces on intellectual property, agriculture, trade and environmental protection so as to facilitate the development of bilateral relations in economics and trade.
Bilateral trade reached 6.2 billion USD in the first half of this year while US direct investment in Vietnam nearly hit the 5 billion USD mark.

The two countries are expected to sign major projects soon, putting the US on the list of the five-top foreign investors in Vietnam./.