The United States Celebrates 25 Years since the End of the Trade Embargo against Vietnam

3:44:29 PM | 1/21/2019

On January 18, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires ad interim to Vietnam, Caryn McClelland, spoke at the American Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Hanoi celebrating the 25th anniversary of President Clinton’s lifting of the U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam. Speaking to an audience that included Deputy Prime MinisterVương Đình Huệ, The Honorable John Kerry, Dr. Vũ Tiến Lộc (Chairman and President, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce & Industry), Ambassador Pete Peterson (the first U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam following normalization of relations), and Ambassador Lê Văn Bàng (the first Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. following normalization), she celebrated 25 years of renewed economic cooperation between the United States and Vietnam, during which bilateral trade has grown from just over $200 million in 1994 to more than $50 billion today.

The Chargé recalled that the end of the embargo “closed one door on our bilateral relationship and opened another … [so that ] we could trade, build people-to-people ties, and cooperate in areas such as education, science, and technology.”

She noted that many people deserve credit for the remarkable progress, including Senators McCain and Kerry; long-term American business people in Vietnam who helped turn “opportunity into prosperity”; and the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, which is also celebrating its 25th anniversary.

She also made a special point to thank “Our friends and partners within the Vietnamese Government [who] made President Clinton’s decision in 1994 more palatable to the American public with their unwavering dedication to helping us with our most somber and sacred task – recovering the remains of our service members who never returned from the war.”

With the United States now Vietnam’s largest export market and with Vietnam one of America’s fastest growing markets, Chargé McClelland expressed optimism that our two countries will enjoy 25 more years of economic cooperation and growth.