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USTR Welcomes Viet Nam's WTO Accession

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

16 January 2007


US Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab last week welcomed Viet Nam’s long-awaited accession to the World Trade Organisation.

The country on Thursday became the 150th - and newest - member of the WTO, following its ratification of the accession package in December 2006.

The decision ended over 11 years of preparation, including eight years of negotiation. The working party of members negotiating with Viet Nam was set up on 31 January 1995 and met 14 times between July 1998 and October 2006.

The USTR observed that:

"This is an historic day for Viet Nam and the rules-based global trading system. It marks the beginning of a new era in the political and economic relationship between our two countries – an era that will witness expanding economic opportunities and cooperation."

She continued:

"Vietnam's membership in the World Trade Organization is also a sign of US commitment to strengthening the multilateral trading system. We welcome Viet Nam as the 150th WTO Member and regard this step as an important milestone in the continuing process of expanding commerce and raising living standards around the world."

Meanwhile, in the final step of the bilateral accession process with the United States, on December 29, President Bush granted Vietnam Permanent Normal Trade Relations. PNTR permits the United States to enter into the reciprocal "most favored nation" relationship that is necessary for the United States and Vietnam to enjoy the benefits of Vietnam’s membership of the WTO.


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