As many as twenty US representatives on September 21 signed a letter to J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, calling for swift consideration and approval of the Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status to Viet Nam .
“We urge you to call for swift action in the Ways and Means Committee and full floor consideration of H.R. 5602, a bill to grant PNTR to Viet Nam . We hope this will be accomplished without delay,” said the letter.
It went on to say that “ Viet Nam is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing countries in the world. With over 83 million people, Viet Nam offers tremendous promise for US farmers, workers, and businesses. We hear from our constituents that the bilateral agreement the administration struck last spring with Viet Nam is among the most commercially significant trade agreement in years.”
“US businesses and agricultural producers, in our districts and elsewhere, are eager to take advantages of these terms, which only come into effect for them once Congress grants Viet Nam PNTR and Viet Nam joins the World Trade Organisation (WTO). We are therefore eager for the Congress to approve legislation to do so,” according to the letter.
The letter concluded that “Time is running out to complete congressional consideration of the PNTR bill before President Bush travels to Hanoi in November for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting. Failure to grant Viet Nam PNTR before that time has the potential to undermine US prestige in such an important region of the world.”