Major Milestones in Vietnam - U.S. Relationship

11:34:29 AM | 4/7/2019

Vietnam and the United States normalized relations and officially established diplomatic ties on 12 July, 1995. In 2019, the two countries are celebrating 25 years of economic relations normalization. Cooperation between the two countries has become increasingly diverse, substantial and effective over the years. On this special occasion, Vietnam Business Forum would like to highlight some milestones in the two countries' relations.  

1990: On September 29, U.S. Secretary of State J. Baker and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach hosted the first meeting on Vietnam - U.S. bilateral relations in New York City.

1991: The United States released a four-step roadmap for normalizing relations with Vietnam. In November, Deputy Foreign Minister Le Mai and East Asia-Pacific White House Assistant Solomon first negotiated the normalization of bilateral relations in New York.

1994: U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the abolition of sanctions and established liaison offices between the two countries in Washington, D.C. and Hanoi. Vietnam and the U.S. reached an agreement on opening liaison offices in the capitals of the two countries.

1995: July 11: U.S. President Clinton announced the normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam. On July 12, Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet announced the establishment of diplomatic relations with the U.S. In August 1995, Vietnam and the U.S. opened embassies in Washington, D.C. and Hanoi. U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher paid his official visit to Vietnam.

1997: U.S. Finance Minister Rubin visited Vietnam. The two sides exchanged the first ambassadors. Vietnam sent the first military attaché to the United States. In June, U.S. Secretary of State Albright visited Vietnam. In November, at the APEC High-level Meeting in Canada, the U.S. supported Vietnam to enter APEC.

1998: U.S. President Clinton first declared the exemption from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment Act for Vietnam. Then, the U.S. President made an annual decision to extend this exemption to Vietnam.

In March, the two sides officially signed the agreement allowing the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Cooperation Agency (OPIC) to operate in Vietnam. On September 30, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam paid an official visit to the U.S. for the first time. The trip lasted until October 2. Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Defense Tran Hanh also paid a visit to the U.S. for the first time.

1999: The first political exchange between the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State took place in Hanoi. In July, U.S. Secretary of State Albright visited Vietnam. In September, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and President Clinton attended the APEC High Level Meeting in Auckland, New Zealand to discuss some issues regarding bilateral relations. In December, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and the Export–Import Bank of the United States (EXIMBANK) officially signed the Agreement on Framework Guarantee and the Agreement Investment Project Encouragement.

2000: On July 14, governmental representatives of the two countries signed the Vietnam-U.S. Bilateral Trade Agreement in Washington, D.C.

On the occasion of the United Nations Millennium Conference in New York, President Tran Duc Luong met with President Bill Clinton.

November 16-19, 2000: U.S. President Bill Clinton paid an official visit to Vietnam. On this occasion, the two sides signed the Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation and the Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation and witnessed the signing ceremony of 12 Letters of Agreement on Investment and Trade. In December, OPIC President G. Munnoz visited Vietnam, pledging to grant US$200 million in special insurance for U.S. companies seeking to invest in Vietnam.

2001: During the session of the UN HIV/AIDS Meeting in New York, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem paid a working visit to the U.S. to discuss bilateral scientific, technological and educational cooperation.

In July, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Vietnam for the first time to attend ARF 8 and PMC in Hanoi.

In December, Standing Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung paid a working visit to the U.S., witnessing the ceremony of ratifying the Vietnam-U.S. Trade Agreement (effective on December 10, 2001).

2002: Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Manh Cam paid a working visit to the U.S., witnessing the signing ceremony of the Declaration of Cooperation between the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the State of Texas (U.S.), and the Memorandum on Technical Assistance Program for the implementation of Vietnam-U.S. Bilateral Trade Agreement. In September, Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien visited the U.S. For the first time, the two governments signed the MOU on the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Program in Vietnam from 2003-2008, worth about US$20 million.

2003: Vietnam - U.S. Textile and Apparel Agreement was officially signed in Hanoi.

In December, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan officially paid a working visit to the U.S., witnessed the signing of five documents, including the Agreement on Aviation Cooperation and the Agreement on Drug Prevention Cooperation.

2004: Admiral Thomas Fargo, Commander of the Pacific Command (U.S.) visited Vietnam. In April, Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Phuc Thanh visited the U.S. and attended the launching ceremony of “U.S. Congressmen for U.S.-Vietnam relations”.

In November, at the 12th APEC High Level Meeting in Chile, President Tran Duc Luong met with President George W. Bush. On December 10, 2004, the first direct flight from the U.S. to Vietnam was officially opened since 1975.

2006: In November, U.S. President George W. Bush paid an official visit to Vietnam. In January 2007, the U.S.  Congress passed the Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Vietnam.

In June, President Nguyen Minh Triet paid an official visit to the U.S.

In June, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung paid an official visit to the U.S. for the second time. The two sides resumed their annual dialogue on human rights after a two-year hiatus.

2011: The two countries held a meeting with the US-Vietnam Trade and Investment Framework Council (TIFA) in Washington D.C.

2013: In July, President Truong Tan Sang paid an official visit to the U.S. On July 25, 2013, President Truong Tan Sang and President Barack Obama announced that the two countries established the comprehensive partnership.

2013: The U.S. lifted part of the ban on the sale of killing weapons to Vietnam.

2014: In June, Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh and U.S. Secretary of Defense signed a joint vision statement on U.S.-Vietnam defense relations.

2015: From July 6 to 10, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong paid an official visit to the U.S.

In September 2015, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung paid an official visit to the U.S.

2016: From May 22-24, U.S. President Barack Obama paid a State visit to Vietnam. In May, the U.S. completely lifted the ban on the sale of killing weapons to Vietnam.

2017: In May, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid an official visit to the U.S. In November 2017, U.S. President Donald J. Trump paid a State visit to Vietnam and attended the APEC Summit 2017.

In January and October, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis twice visited Vietnam. In March, the two sides held the first Dialogue on Energy Security in Hanoi. In July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Vietnam.

The February Summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un was held in Hanoi. In March, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh paid an official visit to the U.S.

In 2019, Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong is expected to pay an official visit the U.S. at the invitation of President Donald Trump.

Nguyen Thanh