In the two months since becoming President, Donald Trump has already made decisions that affect trade and investment prospects in Vietnam. By withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership, President Trump sent a clear signal that the United States would take a new approach to trade. The President has identified four major trade priorities: (1) defend US national sovereignty over trade policy; (2) strictly enforce US trade laws; (3) use all possible sources of leverage to encourage other countries to open their markets to US exports and protect US intellectual property; and (4) to negotiate new and better trade deals. In remarks referencing trade to a Joint Session of Congress last month, the President said: “I believe strongly in free trade but it also has to be fair trade. It’s been a long time since we had fair trade… I am not going to let America and its great companies and workers be taken advantage of us any longer. They have taken advantage of our country. No longer.”

The Trump Administration intends to work hard against foreign government subsidies, theft of intellectual property, currency manipulation, state-owned enterprises, and numerous other unfair practices. Many of these things occur here in Vietnam, and we are waiting for additional details about how the new trade policy will effect Vietnam’s economy. The President and US Congress are also discussing a possible Border Adjustment Tax, which could be quite harmful for Vietnamese exports to the United States.

In this “new reality”, what options exist to promote continued trade and investment between the United States and Vietnam? What type of progress can our business community hope to see in Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) talks between the US and Vietnam? How likely is it that the US and Vietnam will begin discussions on a bilateral free trade agreement? What is the US reaction to advancement of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a large regional trade agreement that doesn’t include the United States?

To discuss these issues and more, join AmCham for a Power Breakfast on March 29 with special guest Barbara Weisel, Assistant US Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Barbara is well-known to many AmCham members as she served as the US chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She is responsible for developing and implementing US trade policy relating to countries in Southeast Asia including Vietnam. During her time at USTR, Barbara also led the Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Malaysia and Thailand and worked on the US FTAs with Australia and Singapore. She has two Masters Degrees from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College.

DATE:           Wednesday, March 29
TIME:           8:30am – 10:00am
PLACE:         Sheraton Hanoi Hotel, 11 Xuan Dieu Road
COST:           600,000 VND (members); 800,000 VND (non-members)

Attendees at this event will enjoy a full breakfast buffet, followed by a “Davos-style” interview and discussion. Please register your participation in this event by clicking on the button below of by calling AmCham at (84) 43934.2790.