US President to meet first ASEAN PM

US President to meet first ASEAN PM


Melanie Ullrich, Business and Policy Programme Manager

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will meet US President Donald Trump next week in Washington.

“President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen our bilateral relationship and deepen regional cooperation with one of America’s important partners in Southeast Asia,” the White House said in a statement.

The meeting will come several months after Trump withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade agreement that would have included Vietnam – the biggest exporter to the US from Asia Pacific. The US maintains a trade deficit with Vietnam, which totalled $US32 billion in 2016 according to the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Donald Trump held a phone conversation in December 2016 shortly after Trump’s election. The last time a Vietnamese leader embarked on an official state visit to the US was in 2008.