US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink said the US and Vietnam will work together to resolve disagreements over currency issues and logging operations in Vietnam, Bloomberg reported on April 7.
Ambassador Kritenbrink said the disagreements are being handled “responsibly” by the two sides, and that the two countries also share their views on the South China Sea (Vietnam calls it the East Sea)’s issue.
During Trump’s presidency, Vietnam became a target of criticism from the US on monetary issues, even as the two former enemies continued to move closer together to counter their ever-growing military and economic China in the region.
At that time, the US restrained itself and did not impose punitive tariffs on Vietnam, although the US Treasury Department ranked Vietnam as a currency manipulator and the US Trade Representative criticized Vietnam’s currency management as irrational and unfavorable for US businesses.
In addition, the US also expressed concerns about the alleged illegal logging activities of Vietnam.
Bloomberg News quoted Ambassador Kritenbrink as saying:
“I am confident that our relationship will continue to improve under President Joe Biden. President Biden reaffirmed that his support for a country ‘strong and independent Vietnam’ is in line with national interests of the US.”
In an online discussion organized by the Miller Center, a branch of the University of Virginia, earlier this month, Ambassador Kritenbrink observed that the interests of the US and Vietnam are fully converging in relation to regional security and stability, although tensions remain between the two sides over human rights issues as well as disagreements over trade and economic issues.
The US opposes the actions of other countries in the region, especially China, which Washington considers the intention to “mentally suppress, provoke and intimidate other nations.”
The US Ambassador to Vietnam said:
“Both the US and Vietnam want to live in a stable, prosperous region where all countries abide by international law, where big countries don’t bully weaker countries, where countries trade freely and openly.”
Mr. Kritenbrink, the US ambassador to Vietnam since 2017, has been nominated by President Joe Biden as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.