US, Vietnam at Odds Over WTO Bid
Preparations for admission to the World Trade Organization ''do not meet requirements,'' says US ambassador
HANOI, Vietnam - 11/17/05 - A senior Vietnamese official has criticized the US for "making trouble" over its bid to join the World Trade Organization.
Vietnam's ambassador to the WTO, Ngo Quang Xuan, said in a recent interview with the Tuoi Tre newspaper that it was "not possible" for Vietnam to join the global trade body "as hoped" when it holds its next ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December.
But he said it was not Vietnam's fault that the Communist nation had failed to conclude bilateral negotiations with some countries, singling out the US.
"The fact that the United States are still making difficulties on the negotiating table is an attitude that lacks goodwill," said Xuan.
"It is not because Vietnam did not make enough efforts," he said. "We did everything we could and we overcame many difficulties (in Vietnam) and abroad."
Vietnam formally applied to join the WTO in 1995 but actual negotiations started just three years ago.
The country was under no formal pressure to join by the end of this year but has until very recently held December as its target.
Last month, Michael Marine, the US ambassador to Vietnam, said gaps persist between the two countries on the matter, notably criticizing Vietnam for failing to fully implement the US-Vietnam bilateral trade agreement reached in 2000.
"Half-measures or doing on paper and not doing in practice are not in Vietnam's interests," said Marine, a veteran diplomat who assumed his post in September 2004.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai recently told the National Assembly it has to work harder on legal reforms to make the accession a reality.
"Preparations for admission to the World Trade Organization do not meet requirements, especially in terms of legal reforms and improvement of competitiveness," he said.
back, or read the latest Front Page stories:
US Seeks Stronger Ties With Brazil
WASHINGTON, DC – 06/13/06 – Rebounding from the failure to craft a Free Trade Area of the Americas pact, the Bush Administration is aiming at strengthening trade ties with Brazil in an effort to counter China’s fast-growing economic influence in Latin America; China should not only be seen as an export market with 1.3 billion consumers, but also as a nation of 1.3 billion ''new competitors,'' says US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Guittierez.
US Threatens WTO Action Against China
WASHINGTON, DC – 06/10/06 – The White House is threatening to slap China with a World Trade Organization case unless Beijing responds quickly to US concerns over its lack of action on securing intellectual property rights for US products; talks on bringing the WTO case are at a ''very advanced stage,'' according to a high level official in the Office of the US trade Representative.
High Hopes for Central American Trade Pact
WASHINGTON, DC – 06/08/06 – The US -Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) still faces some hurdles, but could become a reality ''very soon,'' according to Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick; the issues relating to government procurement, intellectual property rights and agriculture still need to be worked through, says the former US Trade Representative following a session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.