The U.S. normalized trade relations with Vietnam in 2001 and it is currently expected to be a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. For the first time Tuesday, the head of the Vietnamese Communist Party and state met with the American president in the Oval Office. They discussed trade and border issues with China in the South China Sea.
MAJOR GARRETT: Even though the United States has become an ever more extensive trade partner with Vietnam, $30 billion worth of exports to Vietnam last year, Vietnamese human rights record has deteriorated. No freedom of the press, no freedom of religion. No independent labor unions or political parties outside of the communist party are allowed in Vietnam... Often trade improves those underlying issues... in Vietnam that has not been the case. It will be a hot topic when and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes before Congress.