Cooperation between Viet Nam and the US has expanded quickly over the past years, with the United States being one of Viet Nam’s biggest trade partners.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter visited Viet Nam in June 2015, President Barack Obama in May 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry in February 2017,President Donald Trump in November 2017, Secretary of Defense James Mattis in March 2018 and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in July 2018.
From the Vietnamese side, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong visited the US in July 2015, Chairman of the National Assembly in September 2015, Deputy Foreign Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in April 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in May 2017, Minister of National Defense Ngo Xuan Lich in August 2017, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue in June 2018, and Vice Chairman of the National Assembly in July 2018.
The US has emerged as one of Viet Nam’s top trade partners with the two-way trade expanding 20% in recent years, reaching US$ 54 billion in 2017. US exports to Viet Nam rose quickly, at 77% or four times faster than Vietnamese exports to the US market.
Viet Nam mainly shipped aquatic products, textiles and garments, footwear, timber, computers, electronic products and spare parts to the US while key imports include machinery, equipment, cotton, computers, and electronic products.
As of June 2018, the US was the 10th biggest foreign investor in Viet Nam with total registered capital of US$ 9.4 billion while Viet Nam had 147 investment projects worth more than US$570 million.
Viet Nam and the US signed a Memorandum of Understanding on defense cooperation in 2011 and Joint Vision Statement on Defense Relations in 2015. The US has declared to fully lift embargo on lethal arms sales to Viet Nam in May 2006 and the former delivered Hamilton-class cutter to the latter in 2017. Both sides adopted an action plan on defense cooperation for 2018-2021 period. Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson visited a Vietnamese port for the first time in March 2018.
Science and technology
Viet Nam and the US signed an agreement on science and technology cooperation in March 2015 and both sides held first dialogue on energy security in Ha Noi in March 2018.
Education, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges
The number of Vietnamese students in the US has increased consistently for 16 straight years to more than 30,000, making Viet Nam the top source of international students among ASEAN member States and the 6th on global scale.
Healthcare, environmental and humanitarian cooperation
The US has increased funding for Viet Nam to overcome the war consequences, decontaminate dioxin hot spots, assist agent orange/dioxin victims. In 2017, the US completed massive dioxin decontamination at the Da Nang airport, pledging to continue dioxin decontamination project at Bien Hoa airport.
Regional and international cooperation
Both sides have strengthened coordination at regional forums like APEC, ARF, ADMM+, LMI, EAS, collaborated in promoting ASEAN centrality, in deploying the ASEAN-US strategic partnership as well as in global issues like anti-terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, climate change adaptation, food security, energy, water resources among others.
Viet Nam and the US have maintained frank dialogues on human rights in order to narrow differences in this field and the latest session (22nd) human rights dialogue took place in May 2018.