One Early Test for the New Congress: Vietnam and the WTO

by Julian Ku

Although this was an unusually foreign policy-focused congressional midterm election here in the States, international trade was not on any candidate’s radar screen. Still, one early indicator of the new Congress’ internationalist temperamant will be whether it swiftly approves Vietnam’s accession to the WTO. Although the WTO General Council formally approved Vietnam’s application for membership yesterday, the U.S. invoked a “nonapplication” clause in the WTO agreement suspending its WTO relationship with Vietnam until Congress enacts legislation granting Vietnam “permanent normal trading status.” This legislation has already been approved by leading committees in Congress, but the elections and other political obstacles may delay the Vietnam steamroller. If that happens, the Democratic Congress may well get to demonstrate its views on expanding free trade very early on. The new Democratic Congress will probably be more hostile to free trade than the Republican one. How much more hostile, however, remains to be seen.

One Response

  1. It has been a long 11 years for Vietnam and their ascension to WTO. Although a very PROUD American, I do conduct business with countries like Vietnam. Is this a good thing? My opinion YES. I work with American Companies who seek to conduct export business, sell products, sell equipment, sell technology as well assit companies to understand the changing makeup of the international market. To include valued American made products by American citizens, selling to NON-American businesses in many areas of the world. Can I understand why we want to keep our workforce working? Yes, it is something I try and achieve each day. For those who do nothing but sit back and complain, be them Republican or Democrate, shame on you. I ask you but one question, how many jobs have you kept in the USA this year? How many American jobs have created this year? I am one person and can say I personally do as much as I can, what can you do…..not the politicians, but YOU>>>>>

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