I have a good friend visiting Vietnam this month. It is the first time she has been back since her family left 36 years ago. It’s fascinating seeing her pictures and reading her stories on Facebook about her visit. So, naturally, I investigated what type of trade occurs between Texas and Vietnam.
On December 10, 2001, the US-Vietnam Trade Agreement went into force. This was a watershed moment in US-Vietnam trade because it extended Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to Vietnam. According to the agreement, MFN means “the Parties will provide each other’s goods the same treatment as they offer like goods produced by other countries.” Therefore if a third country negotiates a tariff on a good that is lower than the currently agreed upon tariff with the US, the US businesses can then import goods at that lower tariff rate. A copy of the US-Vietnam trade agreement can be found here: http://www.usvtc.org/trade/bta/summary.htm
Moreover, the trade agreement between the US and Vietnam was negotiated to the standards of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which helped Vietnam gain entry into the WTO in January 2007.
Data on Texas Exports to Vietnam go back to 1999 but import data only begins in 2008. Still Texas exports to Vietnam grew steadily from 1999 to 2006 and then jumped considerably from 2007 to 2010. Texas imports from Vietnam in 2010 were well over $1B annually.
Similarly, Texas imports from Vietnam have also grown steadily in these top NAICS categories.
Although still a relatively small percentage of Texas trade annually, Vietnam looks as though it will continue to be a growth market for Texas imports and exports.