Trump Announces Major New Vietnam Deals

He welcomed Vietnam PM to Oval Office
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2017 12:17 AM CDT
Trump Praises Deals After Vietnam Meeting
President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, listens during a bilateral meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the White House in Washington on Wednesday. National Security Adviser HR McMaster is second from right.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Trump moved on from the "covfefe" confusion Wednesday to have what he describes as a very successful meeting with Vietnam's prime minister. After White House talks with Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Trump hailed more than a dozen new deals worth a total of around $8 billion, including sales of General Electric and Caterpillar equipment to Vietnam, reports Reuters. Vietnam "just made a very large order in the United States—and we appreciate that—for many billions of dollars, which means jobs for the United States and great, great equipment for Vietnam," Trump said. Phuc and Trump also discussed the transfer of a Coast Guard cutter to Vietnam.

Vietnam considered Trump's withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact to be a major economic setback, though trade experts tell the Wall Street Journal that Phuc, who wants to reduce his country's reliance on China, now hopes to replace the TPP with a bilateral US trade deal. The New York Times notes that as with other recent meetings with authoritarian leaders, Trump didn't publicly address human rights concerns, but press secretary Sean Spicer noted the president likes to bring issues like that up privately. After the meeting, Phuc told reporters that the US and Vietnam had "undergone significant upheavals in history, but today we have been able to become comprehensive partners." (More Vietnam stories.)

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