September 6, 2001
Administration supports H.J.Res. 51, which would approve the extension
of nondiscriminatory, i.e., Normal Trade Relations (NTR), treatment
for the products of Vietnam.
The Administration has continued to work with Vietnam to incrementally normalize our bilateral political, economic, and consular relationship. U.S. engagement helps promote the development of a prosperous Vietnam and integrates it into world markets and regional organizations, which, in turn, helps contribute to regional stability. In addition, U.S. involvement has secured Vietnamese cooperation and engagement on a range of important U.S. policy goals, including achieving the fullest possible accounting of POW/MIAs from the Vietnam War. U.S. engagement also gives hope of producing gains in respect for human rights as well.
The U.S. has extended a Jackson-Vanik waiver to Vietnam for the past 3 years. This waiver, which is a prerequisite for NTR trade status, has permitted U.S. businesses operating in Vietnam to make use of U.S. Government programs supporting U.S. exports to and investments in Vietnam. U.S. business views Vietnam, the thirteenth most populous country in the world, as an important potential market.
On June 8th, President Bush submitted the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) to Congress for its approval as part of extending NTR to Vietnam. This BTA binds Vietnam to an unprecedented array of reforms, including tariff reductions for key U.S. exports, elimination of non-tariff barriers, intellectual property rights protection, market access for American service industries, protections for American investors, and mechanisms to promote the rule of law.
The BTA's entry into force completes a normalization process that has spanned four Administrations. Completion of this process will facilitate important bilateral engagement on other issues of concern.
Any law that would reduce receipts is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirements of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act. Accordingly, H.J.Res. 51, which would reduce revenues, will be subject to the pay-as-you-go requirement. The Administration will work with Congress to ensure that any unintended sequester of spending does not occur under current law or the enactment of any other proposals that meet the President's objectives to reduce the debt, fund priority initiatives, and grant tax relief to all income tax paying Americans.