US Vice-President Kamala Harris touched down in Hanoi on August 24 after a three-hour delay from Singapore as part of her Southeast Asia tour. The aim of the trip was to build relations and upgrade their bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership. Harris’ visit was historic – the first time a US vice president has visited Vietnam since the end of the war
Harris referenced the progress telling Vietnam’s president, that ‘our relationship has come a long way in a quarter of a century.”
For the US the focus has been on developing US ties in the region to counter China.
Trade relations between the US and Vietnam have been strong despite the pandemic and likely accounts for the reasons behind Harris’ visit. The level of US imports from Vietnam was much higher than even in relation to Singapore, reaching a record high of US$84 billion in 2020, up from roughly US$70 billion in the preceding year. The vast bulk of imports are made up of electrical and mechanical machinery, but also household furniture and bedding. The US has become Vietnam’s second-largest trading partner and its top export market worldwide.
Not only this, the growing relationship has resulted in nearly 30,000 Vietnamese students studying in the US contributing nearly US$1billion to the US economy.
Dezan Shira & Associates