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Mar 09, 2020 / 08:52

Vietnam commits to buy US$3 billion farm produce to balance trade with US

The import staples include cow, wheat, fruit, corn, soy, and animal feed which will be purchased in the next two to three years.

Vietnam has signed 18 agreements to buy farm produce worth US$3 billion from the United States in the next two to three years as part of its efforts to reduce the widening trade surplus with the latter.

 Vietnam will buy more US farm produce in next three years

The deals, which include purchases of 100,000 cows, tons of wheat, fruit, corn, soy, and animal feed, were signed in a recent visit to the US by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bloomberg has reported.

“We see a lot of room to increase purchases from America, and that will significantly help narrow our trade gap with the US,” said Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, the agriculture ministry’s spokesman, who was in the delegation to the US. “Our demand for American farming products is very high.”

“We will have regular meetings with these Vietnamese companies to give them timely support in implementing the signed MOUs,” Tuan said. “We also want to buy more high-tech equipment from the US to make more value-added farm products in the future.”

The US incurred a US$55.8 billion trade deficit with Vietnam for 2019 and US$39.5 billion for 2018, according to the US Census Bureau. US exports to Vietnam increased 12.39% while its imports from Vietnam rose 35.5%.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last year that Vietnam needs to resolve “market access restrictions related to goods, services, agricultural products, and intellectual property.”

Vietnam is working to address Lighthizer’s concerns, Tuan said.

“We will work on changes in some relevant regulations to make it easier for American companies to sell more in Vietnam,” he said. “We are trying to create opportunities for businesses of the two countries to boost trade exchange in a fair manner. This will surely help the bilateral relations between Vietnam and the US.”

In an interview last year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc promised that Vietnam would buy more US products, such as Boeing Co. aircraft. In August, state-run Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries announced it was negotiating to buy US coal for the first time, from Xcoal Energy & Resources LLC.