Joint Statement between the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
1. At the invitation of President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang, President of the United States of America Donald J. Trump paid a state visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, from November 11 to12, 2017. The two leaders discussed measures to strengthen and expand the Comprehensive Partnership between their two countries based on mutual understanding, shared interests, and a common desire to promote peace, cooperation, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific region. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to deepening ties on the basis of previous joint statements between the two sides; respect for the United Nations Charter and international law; and each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and respective political systems.
2. President Trump congratulated Vietnam on hosting a successful Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting in Danang. The two leaders reaffirmed their intent to continue high-level contacts and exchanges of delegations, and to strengthen existing dialogue mechanisms, including party-to-party dialogues. Both sides highlighted the expanding and mutually beneficial economic relations between the United States and Vietnam, and underscored their shared desire to create jobs and favorable conditions for commerce and business in both countries.
3. The two leaders pledged to deepen and expand the bilateral trade and investment relationship between the United States and Vietnam through formal mechanisms, including the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). They welcomed the return of market access for United States distillers dried grains into the Vietnamese market and new access for Vietnamese star apples into the United States market. The leaders committed to seek resolution of remaining agricultural trade issues, including those regarding siluriformes, shrimp, and mangoes, and to promote free and fair trade and investment in priority areas, including electronic payment services, automobiles, and intellectual property rights enforcement.
4. The two leaders welcomed the announcement of $12 billion in new commercial agreements during President Trump’s visit. Both leaders also welcomed expanding bilateral energy ties, including discussions between companies from both sides on Vietnam’s import of liquefied natural gas from the United States, as well as steps by Vietnam to enhance its capacity for solar power generation with the support of the United States.
5. Affirming their commitment to deepened defense cooperation and shared resolve to address regional security challenges, President Quang thanked the United States Government for the transfer of a Hamilton-class Coast Guard cutter to help improve Vietnam’s maritime security and law enforcement capabilities. Both leaders welcomed the plan for the first ever visit, in 2018, by a United States aircraft carrier to a Vietnamese port. They affirmed the 2018-2020 Plan of Action for United States-Viet Nam Defense Cooperation to implement the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Advancing Bilateral Defense Cooperation and the 2015 Joint Vision Statement on Defense Relations, strengthening bilateral defense relations in areas of maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations, and overcoming war legacy issues. In this regard, the two leaders welcomed the early visit of the United States Secretary of Defense to Vietnam.
6. The two leaders underscored that their two countries would deepen and gradually expand security and intelligence cooperation, enhancing information sharing and joint training on issues of mutual concern. The leaders expressed their intent to strengthen cooperation on cyber security through increased exchanges of delegations and information sharing, in order to promote an open and secure cyberspace. President Quang also expressed interest in closer collaboration on aviation safety and security, and counterterrorism.
7. Both leaders reaffirmed the importance of continued cooperation to address the legacies of war. In this regard, President Quang expressed appreciation for the contribution of the United States to the successful dioxin remediation at Da Nang Airport, and welcomed the United States commitment to contribute to remediation at Bien Hoa Airport. He welcomed further United States assistance for persons with disabilities. President Trump expressed his appreciation for Vietnam’s full and continued cooperation in accounting for United States personnel still missing from the war, and pledged to cooperate with Vietnam in its efforts to locate its missing soldiers. The two leaders committed to cooperation in the removal of remnants of explosives from the war.
8. Both leaders affirmed their support for enhancing people-to-people ties to strengthen mutual understanding, cooperation, and friendship between the people of the United States and Vietnam, including through professional and academic exchanges, the launch of the Fulbright University Vietnam, $500,000 in Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) alumni grants, and the arrival of the first ever Peace Corps volunteers in Vietnam.
9. President Trump and President Quang welcomed the exchange of Agreed Minutes on the intent of the United States to acquire the “D30” site in Hanoi for the construction of a new embassy facility, in accordance with the laws of both countries. President Trump expressed United States support for Vietnam to acquire better diplomatic and consular facilities in the United States.
10. The two leaders recognized the importance of protecting and promoting human rights.
11. The two leaders discussed and welcomed initiatives to preserve peace and stability and to advance cooperation and development in the Indo-Pacific region. The two leaders recognized the central role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the region, and pledged to respect and support the centrality and unity of ASEAN in the evolving regional architecture. Both sides expressed support for ASEAN to play a stronger role in addressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism, natural disasters and humanitarian crises, illegal drugs, and transnational criminal organizations. The leaders committed to deepening the United States-ASEAN Strategic Partnership based on the principles outlined in the 2016 Sunnylands Declaration. They welcomed the 50th anniversary of ASEAN’s founding and the 40th anniversary of United States-ASEAN relations, and looked forward to commemorative activities, including the ASEAN-United States Commemorative Summit in Manila on November 13, 2017.
12. Both leaders expressed grave concern over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and tests, which violate United Nations Security Council resolutions and threaten international peace and security. They urged all countries around the world to fully and strictly implement all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, and agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation to ensure their effective enforcement. The two leaders agreed on the importance of the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
13. The two leaders underscored the strategic importance to the international community of free and open access to the South China Sea, the importance of unimpeded lawful commerce, the need to respect freedom of navigation and over-flight, and other lawful uses of the sea. The two sides reiterated the stance on the South China Sea in the previous United States-Vietnam and United States-ASEAN joint statements, including their call on parties to refrain from escalatory actions, the militarization of disputed features, and unlawful restrictions on freedom of the seas. They reaffirmed their shared commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes. They called for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and an early conclusion to an effective, legally binding Code of Conduct for the South China Sea (COC). They further called for all South China Sea claimants to clarify and comport their maritime claims in accordance with the international law of the sea as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and to implement their international legal obligations in good faith in managing or resolving these disputes.
14. The leaders noted that, as a partner of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and a founding member of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), the United States supports the efforts of the Lower Mekong countries to sustainably manage the region’s water and environmental resources for the benefit of all. President Quang acknowledged the leading role of the United States in reducing global carbon emissions and innovating clean energy technologies, and he thanked the United States for its assistance to Vietnam in advancing climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
President Donald J. Trump’s Trip to Vietnam
“Today the Vietnamese economy is one of the fastest-growing on earth…We know it is in America’s interests to have partners throughout this region that are thriving, prosperous, and dependent on no one… We want strong partners, not weak neighbors. And above all, we seek friendship.”—President Donald J. Trump
President Donald J. Trump’s state visit to Vietnam reaffirmed his commitment to strengthening the United States-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership.
STRENGTHEN INTERNATIONAL RESOLVE TO DENUCLEARIZE NORTH KOREA: President Donald J. Trump strengthened international resolve to address the security challenges presented by North Korea.
• The President secured new commitments from Vietnam’s leaders to support the global Maximum Pressure Campaign to bring North Korea back to the path of denuclearization.
PROMOTE A FREE AND OPEN INDO-PACIFIC REGION: President Trump strengthened the United States-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, an important element of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
• The United States and Vietnam released a Joint Statement sending a clear message to the region of close and expanding cooperation and coordination between the two nations.
• The United States and Vietnam reached an agreement for the United States to acquire land in Hanoi to construct a new embassy compound, a tangible example of the growing partnership between the two nations.
• The two nations concluded a new Three Year Plan of Action for Defense Cooperation, which will increase bilateral naval activities.
• The United States formally transferred the first United States Coast Guard cutter to the Vietnamese Navy, enhancing Vietnam’s maritime security and domain awareness capabilities.
• President Trump and President Quang welcomed the planned first visit of a United States aircraft carrier to Vietnam in 2018.
• President Trump and Vietnamese leaders celebrated the conclusion of a joint effort to clean dioxin-contaminated soil and sediment in Danang, Vietnam, and welcomed the United States commitment to contribute to remediation at Bien Hoa Airport.
• Both sides reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation, overflight, and unfettered commerce in the South China Sea and their commitment to a rules-based approach to resolving maritime disputes.
• The two leaders recognized the importance of protecting and promoting human rights.
ADVANCE AMERICA’S PROSPERITY: President Trump promoted American prosperity and trade, including new investments and energy sales that will lead to jobs for Americans.
• President Trump and Vietnamese leaders pledged to deepen and expand bilateral trade and investment relations—in line with the President’s commitment to pursuing fair and reciprocal trade with key trading partners.
• The United States and Vietnam welcomed the conclusion of $12 billion in commercial agreements, which when implemented will include $10 billion in United States content.
• The United States supported the successful conclusion of Vietnam’s 2017 chairmanship of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the region’s premier forum for promoting free, fair, and reciprocal trade that promotes United States exports and creates jobs for Americans.
The White House
Remarks by President Trump in Press Gaggle Aboard Air Force One en route Hanoi, Vietnam | 11/11/2017
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Hanoi, Vietnam
3:35 P.M. ICT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Everybody okay? Everybody happy? Everybody healthy? Two more days — no problem.
It’s been a — I think it’s been a great trip. In certain ways, it’s been very epic. I think things have happened that have been really amazing. Prime Minister Abe came up to me just at the end, and he said that since you left South Korea and Japan, that those two countries are now getting along much, much better. That’s from Prime Minister Abe — that there’s been a real bonding between South Korea and Japan. So that was great.
And we had a time in China. You were there. Were most of you there? Jennifer?
Q We all were, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: They say in the history of people coming to China, there’s been nothing like that. And I believe it.
Did you see the show? Did most of you see the show or part of the show afterwards? It was incredible.
Q We saw the opera but not the —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: The opera was great too, but the following night — that was the first time that theater has been used at the Forbidden City in over a hundred years. You know that. They prepared the theater for that — the first time in over a hundred years.
No, it was an amazing — we have an amazing feeling toward each other. And he’s for China; I’m for USA. You know, it’s one of those things. But we have a great feeling.
So it’s been really very incredible. And then today was excellent. Today was a different kind of a thing. It’s a conference.
And then tonight they’re having a state dinner in Hanoi. And we then go to the Philippines, which was a rough trip the last time. That was a rough presidential trip, but this won’t be. And we’re staying the extra day because they have the two conferences; they have first day and they have the second day. And the second day, a lot of people say is very important. And I said, you know what, if I’m there, I should do it.
But it’s gone really well. I’ve really enjoyed it. Developed some new friendships — some really good friendships. But the three countries we’ve stopped in, the original three are — they’re really in our camp, and we’re in their camp.
Q How were your discussions with Vladimir Putin? Did you discuss Syria? And apparently they’ve issued a joint statement that —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We issued a joint statement. We’re going to be — have you seen the statement yet?
MS. SANDERS: It’s going out — it’s on the way.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So I think it’ll go out. You’ll see it in a little while.
MS. SANDERS: It may be out, now that you guys — now that we’re in the air.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’s going to save tremendous numbers of lives. And we did that very quickly. We agreed very quickly.
As you know, we saw each other last night just for a picture, and that was the first time. And then today we had a roundtable with numerous countries. You have a list of the countries, obviously. Right? You have a list.
And we spoke intermittently during that roundtable. We seem to have a very good feeling for each other and a good relationship considering we don’t know each other well. I think it’s a very good relationship.
We had two or three very short conversations because of the meeting, the fact that we’re at a meeting. But during those conversations, we talked about Syria and de-conflicting, et cetera. You know, we have areas where troops are facing — our troops — I mean, their troops are facing our troops and there’s nothing in between.
And we issued a statement — a joint statement. It was just approved, and I think people are going to be extremely happy with it and also very impressed with it.
Q Did Russia’s attempts to meddle in U.S. elections come up in the conversation?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: He said he didn’t meddle. He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. But I just asked him again, and he said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they’re saying he did. And he said —
Q Do you believe him?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, look, I can’t stand there and argue with him. I’d rather have him get out of Syria, to be honest with you. I’d rather have him — you know, work with him on the Ukraine than standing and arguing about whether or not — because that whole thing was set up by the Democrats.
I mean, they ought to look at Podesta. They ought to look at all of the things that they’ve done with the phony dossier. Those are the big events. Those are the big events.
But Putin said he did not do what they said he did. And, you know, there are those that say, if he did do it, he wouldn’t have gotten caught, all right? Which is a very interesting statement. But we have a — you know, we have a good feeling toward getting things done.
If we had a relationship with Russia, that would be a good thing. In fact, it would be a great thing, not a bad thing. Because he could really help us in North Korea. We have a big problem with North Korea. And China is helping us. And because of the lack of a relationship that we have with Russia because of this artificial thing that’s happening with this Democratic-inspired thing, we could really be helped a lot, tremendously, with Russia having to do with North Korea.
And, you know, you’re talking about millions and millions of lives. This isn’t baby stuff. This is the real deal. And if Russia helped us, in addition to China, that problem would go away a lot faster.
Q How did you bring up the issue of election meddling? Did you ask him a question?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: He just — every time he sees me, he says, “I didn’t do that.” And I believe — I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, “I didn’t do that.” I think he’s very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth.
Don’t forget, all he said is he never did that, he didn’t do that. I think he’s very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country. Because again, if we had a relationship with Russia, North Korea — which is our single biggest problem right now — North Korea, it would be helped a lot. I think I’m doing very well with respect to China. They’ve cut off financing; they’ve cut off bank lines; they’ve cut off lots of oil and lots of other things, lots of trade. And it’s having a big impact. But Russia, on the other hand, may be making up the difference. And if they are, that’s not a good thing.
So having a relationship with Russia would be a great thing — not a good thing — it would be a great thing, especially as it relates to North Korea.
And I’ll say this, Hillary had her stupid reset button that she spelled the word wrong, but she doesn’t have what it takes to have that kind of a relationship where you could call or you could do something and they would pull back from North Korea, or they’d pull back from Syria, or maybe pull back from Ukraine. I mean, if we could solve the Ukraine problem —
But this is really an artificial barrier that’s put in front of us for solving problems with Russia, and he says that very strongly. He really seems to be insulted by it, and he says he didn’t do it. So —
Q (Inaudible) do you believe him —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Excuse me?
Q Even if he (inaudible) one-on-one, do you believe him?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think that he is very, very strong in the fact that he didn’t do it. And then you look, and you look at what’s going on with Podesta, and you look at what’s going on with the server from the DNC and why didn’t the FBI take it, why did they leave it; why did a third party look at the server and not the FBI — if you look at all of this stuff, and you say, what’s going on here?
And then you hear it’s 17 agencies. Well, it’s three. And one is Brennan and one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They’re political hacks.
So you look at it — I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he’s proven to be a leaker.
So you look at that, and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that. Now, you’re not going to get into an argument. You’re going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.
Q You seem to have a fairly warm relationship with a number of —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I do.
Q — totalitarian or authoritarian leaders —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And others.
Q And others. So, Putin, Xi, leader of the Philippines. Do you think you — what do you think — do you think you understand them in a certain way or relate to them in a way that other Presidents haven’t?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t know. They had a story today in one of the papers about China. China likes me. China likes me. And I get along with them; I get along with others too.
I get along very well with Angela. You people don’t write that. I actually get along really well with Angela. You know, they had that handshaking event. I was with her for a long time before that. And somebody shouts out, “shake her hand, shake her hand.” And I didn’t hear them. So by not shaking her hand, they said — I have a great relationship with her. I have a great relationship with Theresa May. I have a great relationship with Justin Trudeau, who I just left.
I think I — I’ll be honest with you, I think I have a great relationship with every single one of them. Every person in that room today — you had what, 15, or so, or 18? Asia Pacific —
Q Well, 21 including you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Everyone in that room, I have a good relationship. They’re very different people, but everyone. And I do have a very good relationship with Xi, obviously. It’s the biggest state — it’s the biggest state entrance and the biggest state dinner they’ve ever had, by far, in China. He called it a state-plus. Like he said it — he actually said, state-plus-plus, which is very interesting.
But he’s — you know, look, again, he’s a strong person. He’s a very smart person. I like him a lot; he likes me. But, you know, we represent two very different countries. But we get along very well. And that’s a good thing that we along; that’s not a bad thing.
And on trade, you know, it was — most of the news covered it fairly. Some didn’t. When I said it’s not your fault — because I was saying how China has been hurting us on trade for many decades, for many years — and it really is. It’s not his fault. We should have been doing that. But we didn’t do it. It’s the fault of the administrations that preceded me. And we’re not going to do that anymore; we’re going to be very tough on trade. And he understands that.
Q In the past, American presidents have felt the obligation to raise issues about human rights abuses. Do you feel like that’s an obligation and that’s something that you feel is important to do?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I do. But I also raise issues on many other things. I mean, I have an obligation — we lost, last year, with China, depending on the way you do your numbers, because you can do them a numbers of way — anywhere from $350 [billion] to $504 billion. That’s with one country. I’m going to fix that. And I’ve got to fix what we have with Mexico, who was there today too, who I also have a very good relationship with. And I have a great relationship with France. Some of you were in France with me, with the Eiffel Tower dinner. We have a great relationship with Emmanuel.
So I think that’s the thing. I’ve actually been getting — I always said it, I think — I said, I think one of my strong suits is going to be foreign affairs. And we’re actually getting very good marks having to do with foreign affairs. There’s nobody that I can think of that I don’t have a very good relationship with.
But when we can — I mean, you’ll be seeing the release that’s put out. But we can save many, many, many lives by making a deal with Russia having to do with Syria, and then ultimately getting Syria solved and getting Ukraine solved and doing other things, having a good relationship with Russia is a great, great thing.
And this artificial Democratic hit job gets in the way. It gets in the way. And that’s a shame because people will die because of it. And it’s a pure hit job. And it’s artificially induced. And it’s a shame. But anyway.
Q If we could ask you about Roy Moore. Is it time to pitch him overboard?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, again, I’ve been with you folks, so I haven’t gotten to see too much. And believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington and New York, I do not watch much television. I know they like to say — people that don’t know me, they like to say I watch television. People with fake sources — you know, fake reporters, fake sources. But I don’t get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents a lot, and different things.
I actually read much more — I read you people much more than I watch television. But anyway — but so I have not seen very much about him, about it. And, you know, I put out a statement yesterday that he’ll do the right thing, that — he was interviewed.
Q But four women have come forward and accused him of inappropriately touching them, basically making advances when they were underage, including a 14-year-old. I mean, at what point — and you said, “if he did it.” But at what point do you decide if he did it? It’s right now their word against his.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Honestly, I’d have to look at it and I’d have to see. Because again, I’m dealing with the President of China, the President of Russia, I’m dealing with the folks over here. So I haven’t devoted — I haven’t been able to devote very much time to it.
And I’ve been at — I mean, you people are just as strong as me. You’re following me all over the place. I mean, we are going to lots of meetings, right? And, by the way, anybody that took the bet, pick up your money, okay? And the hard stuff was that. Really hard.
Q What was the bet again?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, a lot of people said it’s almost physically impossible for someone to go through 12 days.
What I didn’t want to do was come back because I would have had to come back. And we would have been on this plane again in five weeks from now exactly to do four days. We were going to do four days and four days. And this way we did twelve, and we hit the big conferences, which is a big asset. So anyway.
Q So you’re not yet prepared to say that Roy Moore should —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I will see it when — I mean, I basically put out a statement which was obvious. So I’ll stick with statement for now, but I’ll have further comment as we go down the road. I have to get back into the country to see what’s happening.
Q Is there one thing that you were pressing President Xi on that you can say you’re going to take away, where he changed his mind or agreed to something that you’re looking to do specifically on North Korea?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: President Xi made a statement. If you read his statement yesterday — were you all there when he was speaking and made the statement in the big room — the Great Room?
He made a statement that he’s committed to stopping the nuclearization of North Korea. That’s a big statement. He made that statement, and a lot of people didn’t — they didn’t pick that up. I don’t think it was — because it was part of the speech. And somehow a lot people — to me, that was a very big statement. I even looked up — because I’m sitting waiting to speak — and I said, wow, that’s a big statement. He made that statement in his speech yesterday or the day before, when he made — you know, when we were speaking together. He put a statement out, Sarah, that said he’s committed to making that happen. That’s a big statement.
You know, he was, through this process — he’s the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. Some people say more powerful than Mao. With that being said, I really believe he’s a good person, he’s a good man, he wants to do right, he’s representing his people. He’s strong, he’s very strong. But you know, you look at some of what you saw was very impressive. It was very impressive.
Q What’s the next thing you’d like to see him do on Korea?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, I’d like to have him ratchet it up, and I think he’s doing that. We had a long talk about it.
Q But ratchet it up with what?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And I was with him for hours. You know, I was with him — like I sat with him. You were there at the beginning of that evening, right? Of the —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, really?
Q I wasn’t pool.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I was sitting with him. We were together for hours. And the day before, we were together for hours. And we get along very well. You know, it’s easy to be with him for hours. Whereas, if you don’t have chemistry, you people know, you can’t be with somebody for two minutes. And we talked a lot about North Korea. We talked about a lot of things. We talked a lot about North Korea.
No, I think he’s going to ratchet it up. I did not speak to President Putin about it because we just had these little segments that we were talking about Syria. But President Putin would be tremendously helpful — tremendously helpful — if I had Russia and China helping us with North Korea, I think that would solve it. But this artificial barrier gets in the way. I call it the “artificial Democrat barrier.” It gets in the way, which is a shame.
Q So you didn’t have time to ask Putin specific things on North Korea?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I wasn’t able to — because I really didn’t, Jennifer. I really just — we did, like, little snippets in between. We didn’t have a planned meeting. We spoke, but we didn’t have a planned meeting.
Q Where did you leave it with President Putin? Are you looking for another meeting? Him coming to the U.S.? Or are you —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’ll have a meeting. I think we have the potential to have a very good relationship. I don’t know him like I know President Xi because I’ve spent a lot of time with President Xi, but I think we have the potential to have a very, very good relationship. I have it with Abe. I have it with Abe. Very good.
Q Did you see Abe fall at the sand trap?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I didn’t. I say this: If that was him, he is one of the greatest gymnasts because the way he — (laughter) — it was like a perfect — I never saw anything like that.
No, wasn’t it amazing? And he was standing up. I told him — I said, I’m not going to ask — because it was shot from a helicopter. I said, I will not ask if that’s you, but if it was, I’m very impressed because you’re better than any gymnast I’ve ever seen.
Q What do you mean by “artificial Democratic barrier”? I mean, you and Putin can’t warm up because of this investigation? Or what —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: There’s an artificial barrier that puts in the way by the Democrats. It’s a fake barrier. There was no collusion. Everybody knows there was no collusion. I mean, you speak to these people — I saw Dianne Feinstein the other day and I respect her. She was on television the other day saying there’s no collusion. The Democrats — the Republicans come out screaming it, but the Democrats come out, and they say, “No, there’s no collusion.” There is no collusion. There’s nothing.
And I think it’s a shame that something like that can destroy a very important potential relationship between two countries that are very important countries. Russia could really help us. And the Democrats wanted to have a good relationship with Russia, but they couldn’t do it because they didn’t have the talent to do it. They didn’t have the chemistry to do it. They didn’t have what it takes to do it. You know, there is a talent to that.
But I think Putin and I — President Putin and I would have a great relationship, and that would be great for both countries. And it would take a lot of the danger out because we’re really — you know, this is a dangerous time. This isn’t small stuff. This is a very dangerous time. And having a great relationship, or even a good relationship, with the President of Russia — Hillary tried it, and she failed. Nobody mentions that. They act like, you know — it’s so terrible. She did that reset button; it was a joke. But she tried and she failed.
Obama tried and he failed. Couldn’t have it, because he didn’t have chemistry. They didn’t have the right chemistry. And you know what? I understand that, because there are some people I don’t have chemistry with. Let’s see, some of you are right here. (Laughter.) There are some people I don’t — you know, sometimes if you don’t have chemistry with somebody, you don’t.
But Obama did not have the right chemistry with Putin. And Hillary was way over her head.
MS. SANDERS: Let’s take one more and then let them have lunch.
Q Were you able to get any commitments — when it comes to the trade balance, some of the issues you talk about like intellectual property theft — did he make any commitments there to make changes?
THE PRESIDENT: You know, the intellectual property — you’re talking about $300 billion a year. It’s tremendous. We talked about it. But I said, we’re friends, but this is a different administration than you’ve had for the last 30 years. For the last 30 years, China — and, in all fairness, and other countries. Look, we have a $71 billion trade deficit with Mexico. We have a $70 billion trade deficit with Japan. We have a $30 billion trade deficit with South Korea. I could go through a whole list. There are few countries we have a surplus with, and those countries it’s like a two-dollar surplus. It’s disgraceful.
And I don’t blame any of those countries. I blame the people that we had representing us who didn’t know what they were doing. Because they should have never let it happen.
Q I’d like to ask a question on AT&T and CNN. Do you want AT&T to sell CNN for the —
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I didn’t make the decision. That was made by a man who’s actually a very respected person — a very, very respected person.
I did make a comment in the past as to what I think. I do feel that you should have as many news outlets as you can, especially since so many of them are fake. This way, at least you can get your word out. But I do believe you should have as many news outlets as you can.
Now, with that being said, I didn’t make a statement on it, but I made that statement long before at the very early part. So we’ll see how that — it will probably end up being maybe litigation, maybe not. We’ll see how it all plays out.
Q Did you talk to Xi about opening China to Twitter and other social media?
THE PRESIDENT: About what?
Q Opening China to Twitter.
THE PRESIDENT: I mentioned it very briefly. Honestly, it wasn’t number one on my list. Number one on my list with him was North Korea and trade. Those are the two I really spoke. I mentioned it, you know, briefly, but we’ll talk. I’m going to have plenty of time to talk. He’ll come here next time.
This all started in Florida, and it’s a great feeling to have that kind of a relationship where you can really help your country. Because we can really help our country, and he can really help his country.
But we’re going to be very tough on trade. This is not going to be like it was in the past. I did tell him that. This is not going to be the old days. This is a whole different thing going on.
And, you know, it’s not acceptable what’s been happening with trade, generally. China, yes — but generally. And I can think of almost no examples where it’s good. It’s all bad. We had the worst negotiators, whether it’s the Iran deal or any other thing. We had the worst — our trade deals are so bad. Last year, we lost $800 billion, right? Yeah. $800 [billion], approximately. Check it. But approximately $800 billion on trade. Why?
Q You put your own guys in there now. So what did you get from him?
THE PRESIDENT: I have a great team. Bob Lighthizer. Bob Lighthizer is — he’s going to town. And he works with me. He works with me. But Bob is going to town.
So I hope you’re all enjoying yourselves. Tonight we’re going to Hanoi.
Q Any highlights from APEC? Do you have any asks for the other countries?
THE PRESIDENT: I think the APEC was just — good, very collegial.
Q Did anyone ask you for specific things?
THE PRESIDENT: No, but I told them we’re going to have much tougher trade policies now, because, you know, they have barriers. We don’t. I’m not only talking about tariffs. They have non-tariff barriers, and we don’t. I said, you got to remove them.
Good to be with you. Good to be with you.
We’ll talk to you —
Q Thank you for coming back.
THE PRESIDENT: I’ll see you in Hanoi. Are you all going up?
Q Yes, sir.
Q We are.
4:01 P.M. ICT
The White House
Remarks by President Trump in Meet-and-Greet with Vietnam War Veterans
Hyatt Regency Da Nang Resort and Spa
Da Nang, Vietnam
2:15 P.M. ICT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Hello, everybody. And I assume that by now you’re pretty exhausted. The media must be absolutely exhausted, looking to go home.
But we have had a tremendous time. And we’re in Vietnam tomorrow, we go to the Philippines, and then back to the United States. We’ll be landing in Washington. And I think we’ve had a tremendous period of time, starting in Japan, going to South Korea, going to China.
Last night’s celebration in China was something, the likes of which few people have ever seen before. So we’ve had a very exciting time.
I’m very honored to be representing our country, and I will say that, when you speak of honors, one of my great honors is to present the people standing right behind me — great, great warriors and veterans of the Vietnam War.
Our veterans are a national treasure, and I thank them all for their service, sacrifice, and patriotism.
To each of you with me today, you are the heroes who fulfill your duty to our nation. And each of you, under the most difficult conditions, did what you had to do, and you did it well.
My administration, as you all know, is committed to rebuilding our military and honoring the hard work and sacrifices of all veterans. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve done with the Veterans Administration. Dr. Shulkin has done an amazing job with choice and accountability and so many other things that we are doing and in the process of doing. The Veterans Administration is a whole different place.
Our accountability efforts in Vietnam are very, very important to all of us. We will not rest until all of the 1,253 missing veterans are returned home. I want to thank the government of Vietnam for their assistance in our efforts.
Today, I’m signing a proclamation to honor the veterans of the Vietnam War. This is part of the ongoing 13-year commemoration of their sacrifice for freedom. And I just want to thank these seven very brave people for being here. I got to know them for a few minutes upfront, and they are definitely tough, smart cookies. We like them. I think they like me too. I’m not sure, but I think — (applause) — no, I think they do. I think they do. I think they see what we’re doing for our military.
Would you like to say a few words, any of you guys? Would you like to say something? Huh?
MR. HOPPER: Sure.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Come on. Come on up here. Here’s your chance. You can be a big star now.
MR. HOPPER: Well, I’m not sure about that. But just on behalf of many of us standing up in the front of the room today, I just want to say what an honor and privilege it is to be with our President. I so admire what you’re doing for our country.
Thank you for your dedication to our military, our country. And we’re all behind you in making America great again.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. That’s so nice. Thank you very much.
MR. HOPPER: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)
MR. REYNOLDS: It’s an honor to be here. My family is so proud. My wife loves you. (Laughter.) She does. We all love you.
All of the veterans that I represent in my community asked me to say to you: Keep doing what you’re doing. We need to win. We need to make America great again. And we definitely think you are on the right track. So, thank you. It’s honor to meet you, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We will keep it going, and we will get it done.
MR. REYNOLDS: Absolutely.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No doubt.
MR. REYNOLDS: I believe it. Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Anybody?
MR. MORGAN: Mr. President, from my heart, thank you for your support of the military, and it’s an honor to be here as one of seven Vietnam veterans representing the 58,000 heroes who never made it home.
Thank you so much.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you so much. (Applause.)
MR. MORGAN: Thank you, sir. Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You nervous?
MR. GOODE: I am nervous.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t think so. I don’t think so.
MR. GOODE: I am nervous.
You know, it’s an honor for me to be here today to meet the President of the United States that’s doing such a fine job for America. I’m so proud of him and what he’s doing, and I’m also really proud to represent all those veterans that are back home to be one of seven of these veterans that are here today. It’s such an honor to represent the rest of those veterans in the United States of America.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I just want to thank everybody. These are special, special people. And just in speaking to them, before I came up — they were so warm and so loving of our country — I said, “Hey, would you like to say a few words?” And they said them better than anybody can say them.
They’re brave, they’re strong, they’re great patriots. And we just want to thank you and all of the thousands and thousands and all of the people that served with you and in all of the other wars.
And, you know, one of the things, again, that I’m so happy with is what we’re doing with the whole Veterans Administration. It is a whole different ballgame.
And I’m going to sign a proclamation, and I’ll sign it with one pen, but we’re going to make sure we have seven pens. And we’re going to get you each one. But it’s an important proclamation, and we’ll do it right now.
Thank you all. You have done a fantastic job. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
So this is the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War by the President of the United States of America. It’s a proclamation. And thank you very much.
(The proclamation is signed.)
2:21 P.M. EDT
Remarks by President Trump at APEC CEO Summit | Da Nang, Vietnam
Ariyana Da Nang Exhibition Center
Da Nang, Vietnam
1:19 P.M. ICT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: What an honor it is to be here in Vietnam — in the very heart of the Indo-Pacific — to address the people and business leaders of this region.
This has already been a remarkable week for the United States in this wonderful part of the world. Starting from Hawaii, Melania and I traveled to Japan, South Korea, and China, and now to Vietnam, to be here with all of you today.
Before we begin, I want to address all those affected by Typhoon Damrey. Americans are praying for you and for your recovery in the months ahead. Our hearts are united with the Vietnamese people suffering in the aftermath of this terrible storm.
This trip comes at an exciting time for America. A new optimism has swept all across our country. Economic growth has reached 3.2 percent, and going higher. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 17 years. The stock market is at an all-time high. And the whole world is lifted by America’s renewal.
Everywhere I’ve traveled on this journey, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the good news from America. But even more, I’ve had the honor of sharing our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific — a place where sovereign and independent nations, with diverse cultures and many different dreams, can all prosper side-by-side, and thrive in freedom and in peace.
I am so thrilled to be here today at APEC, because this organization was founded to help achieve that very purpose. America stands as a proud member of the community of nations who make a home on the Pacific. We have been an active partner in this region since we first won independence ourselves.
In 1784, the first American ship sailed to China from the newly independent United States. It went loaded with goods to sell in Asia, and it came back full of porcelain and tea. Our first president, George Washington himself, owned a set of tableware from that ship.
In 1804, Thomas Jefferson sent the explorers, Lewis and Clark, on an expedition to our Pacific Coast. They were the first of the millions of Americans who ventured west to live out America’s manifest destiny across our vast continent.
In 1817, our Congress approved the first full-time Pacific development [deployment] of an American warship. That initial naval presence soon grew into a squadron, and then a fleet, to guarantee freedom of navigation for the growing number of ships, braving the high seas to reach markets in the Philippines, Singapore, and in India.
In 1818, we began our relationship with the Kingdom of Thailand, and 15 years later our two countries signed a treaty of friendship and commerce — our first with an Asian nation.
In the next century, when imperialist powers threatened this region, the United States pushed back at great cost to ourselves. We understood that security and prosperity depended on it.
We have been friends, partners, and allies in the Indo-Pacific for a long, long time, and we will be friends, partners, and allies for a long time to come.
As old friends in the region, no one has been more delighted than America to witness, to help, and to share in the extraordinary progress you have made over the last half-century.
What the countries and economies represented here today have built in this part of the world is nothing short of miraculous. The story of this region in recent decades is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future.
Few would have imagined just a generation ago that leaders of these nations would come together here in Da Nang to deepen our friendships, expand our partnerships, and celebrate the amazing achievements of our people.
This city was once home to an American military base, in a country where many Americans and Vietnamese lost their lives in a very bloody war.
Today, we are no longer enemies; we are friends. And this port city is bustling with ships from around the world. Engineering marvels, like the Dragon Bridge, welcome the millions who come to visit Da Nang’s stunning beaches, shining lights, and ancient charms.
In the early 1990s, nearly half of Vietnam survived on just a few dollars a day, and one in four did not have any electricity. Today, an opening Vietnamese economy is one of the fastest-growing economies on Earth. It has already increased more than 30 times over, and the Vietnamese students rank among the best students in the world. (Applause.) And that is very impressive.
This is the same story of incredible transformation that we have seen across the region. Indonesians for decades have been building domestic and democratic institutions to govern their vast chain of more than 13,000 islands. Since the 1990s, Indonesia’s people have lifted themselves from poverty to become one of the fastest-growing nations of the G20. Today, it is the third-largest democracy on Earth.
The Philippines has emerged as a proud nation of strong and devout families. For 11 consecutive years, the World Economic Forum has ranked the Philippines first among Asian countries in closing the gender gap and embracing women leaders in business and in politics. (Applause.)
Kingdom of Thailand has become an upper middle-income country in less than a generation. Its majestic capital of Bangkok is now the most visited city on Earth. And that is very impressive. Not too many people here are from Thailand. (Applause.)
Malaysia has rapidly developed through recent decades, and it is now ranked as one of the best places in the world to do business.
In Singapore, citizens born to parents who survived on $500 dollars a day [year] are now among the highest earners in the world — a transformation made possible by the vision of Lee Kwan Yew’s vision of honest governance and the rule of law. (Applause.) And his great son is now doing an amazing job.
As I recently observed in South Korea, the people of that Republic took a poor country ravaged by war, and in just a few decades turned it into one of the wealthiest democracies on Earth. Today, South Koreans enjoy higher incomes than the citizens of many European Union countries. It was great spending time with President Moon.
Everyone knows of China’s impressive achievements over the past several decades. During this period — and it was a period of great market reforms — large parts of China experienced rapid economic growth, jobs boomed, and more than 800 million citizens rose out of poverty. I just left China this morning and had a really productive meeting and a wonderful time with our gracious host, President Xi.
And, as I saw on my first stop of this trip, in Japan we see a dynamic democracy in a land of industrial, technological, and cultural wonders. In fewer than 60 years, that island nation has produced 24 Nobel Prize winners for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and the promotion of peace. (Applause.) President Abe and I agree on so much.
In the broader region, countries outside of APEC are also making great strides in this new chapter for the Indo-Pacific.
India is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its independence. It is a sovereign democracy, as well as — think of this — over 1 billion people. It’s the largest democracy in the world. (Applause.) Since India opened its economy, it has achieved astounding growth and a new world of opportunity for its expanding middle class. And Prime Minister Modi has been working to bring that vast country, and all of its people, together as one. And he is working at it very, very successfully, indeed.
As we can see, in more and more places throughout this region, citizens of sovereign and independent nations have taken greater control of their destinies and unlocked the potential of their people.
They’ve pursued visions of justice and accountability, promoted private property and the rule of law, and embraced systems that value hard work and individual enterprise.
They built businesses, they built cities, they built entire countries from the ground up. Many of you in this room have taken part in these great, uplifting national projects of building. They have been your projects from inception to completion, from dreams to reality.
With your help, this entire region has emerged — and it is still emerging — as a beautiful constellation of nations, each its own bright star, satellites to none — and each one, a people, a culture, a way of life, and a home.
Those of you who have lived through these transformations understand better than anyone the value of what you have achieved. You also understand that your home is your legacy, and you must always protect it.
In the process of your economic development, you’ve sought commerce and trade with other nations, and forged partnerships based on mutual respect and directed toward mutual gain.
Today, I am here to offer a renewed partnership with America to work together to strengthen the bonds of friendship and commerce between all of the nations of the Indo-Pacific, and together, to promote our prosperity and security.
At the core of this partnership, we seek robust trade relationships rooted in the principles of fairness and reciprocity. When the United States enters into a trading relationship with other countries or other peoples, we will, from now on, expect that our partners will faithfully follow the rules just like we do. We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides, and that private industry, not government planners, will direct investment.
Unfortunately, for too long and in too many places, the opposite has happened. For many years, the United States systematically opened our economy with few conditions. We lowered or ended tariffs, reduced trade barriers, and allowed foreign goods to flow freely into our country.
But while we lowered market barriers, other countries didn’t open their markets to us.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Funny. They must have been one of the beneficiaries. (Applause.) What country do you come from, sir?
Countries were embraced by the World Trade Organization, even if they did not abide by its stated principles. Simply put, we have not been treated fairly by the World Trade Organization. Organizations like the WTO can only function properly when all members follow the rules and respect the sovereign rights of every member. We cannot achieve open markets if we do not ensure fair market access. In the end, unfair trade undermines us all.
The United States promoted private enterprise, innovation, and industry. Other countries used government-run industrial planning and state-owned enterprises.
We adhered to WTO principles on protecting intellectual property and ensuring fair and equal market access. They engaged in product dumping, subsidized goods, currency manipulation, and predatory industrial policies.
They ignored the rules to gain advantage over those who followed the rules, causing enormous distortions in commerce and threatening the foundations of international trade itself.
Such practices, along with our collective failure to respond to them, hurt many people in our country and also in other countries. Jobs, factories, and industries were stripped out of the United States and out of many countries in addition. And many opportunities for mutually beneficial investments were lost because people could not trust the system.
We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses, and we will not tolerate them. Despite years of broken promises, we were told that someday soon everyone would behave fairly and responsibly. People in America and throughout the Indo-Pacific region have waited for that day to come. But it never has, and that is why I am here today — to speak frankly about our challenges and work toward a brighter future for all of us.
I recently had an excellent trip to China, where I spoke openly and directly with President Xi about China’s unfair trade practices and the enormous trade deficits they have produced with the United States. I expressed our strong desire to work with China to achieve a trading relationship that is conducted on a truly fair and equal basis.
The current trade imbalance is not acceptable. I do not blame China or any other country, of which there are many, for taking advantage of the United States on trade. If their representatives are able to get away with it, they are just doing their jobs. I wish previous administrations in my country saw what was happening and did something about it. They did not, but I will.
From this day forward, we will compete on a fair and equal basis. We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore. I am always going to put America first the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first. (Applause.)
The United States is prepared to work with each of the leaders in this room today to achieve mutually beneficial commerce that is in the interest of both your countries and mine. That is the message I am here to deliver.
I will make bilateral trade agreements with any Indo-Pacific nation that wants to be our partner and that will abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade. What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty, and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible.
Instead, we will deal on a basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit. We will respect your independence and your sovereignty. We want you to be strong, prosperous, and self-reliant, rooted in your history, and branching out toward the future. That is how we will thrive and grow together, in partnerships of real and lasting value.
But for this — and I call it the Indo-Pacific dream — if it’s going to be realized, we must ensure that all play by the rules, which they do not right now. Those who do will be our closest economic partners. Those who do not can be certain that the United States will no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating, or economic aggression. Those days are over.
We will no longer tolerate the audacious theft of intellectual property. We will confront the destructive practices of forcing businesses to surrender their technology to the state, and forcing them into joint ventures in exchange for market access.
We will address the massive subsidizing of industries through colossal state-owned enterprises that put private competitors out of business — happening all the time.
We will not remain silent as American companies are targeted by state-affiliated actors for economic gain, whether through cyberattacks, corporate espionage, or other anti-competitive practices. We will encourage all nations to speak out loudly when the principles of fairness and reciprocity are violated.
We know it is in America’s interests to have partners throughout this region that are thriving, prosperous, and dependent on no one. We will not make decisions for the purpose of power or patronage. We will never ask our partners to surrender their sovereignty, privacy, and intellectual property, or to limit contracts to state-owned suppliers.
We will find opportunities for our private sector to work with yours and to create jobs and wealth for us all. We seek strong partners, not weak partners. We seek strong neighbors, not weak neighbors. Above all, we seek friendship, and we don’t dream of domination.
For this reason, we are also refocusing our existing development efforts. We are calling on the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to direct their efforts toward high-quality infrastructure investment that promotes economic growth.
The United States will also do its part. We are also committed to reforming our development finance institutions so that they better incentivize private sector investment in your economies, and provide strong alternatives to state-directed initiatives that come with many strings attached.
The United States has been reminded time and time again in recent years that economic security is not merely related to national security. Economic security is national security. It is vital — (applause) — to our national strength.
We also know that we will not have lasting prosperity if we do not confront grave threats to security, sovereignty, and stability facing our world today.
Earlier this week, I addressed the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea and urged every responsible nation to stand united in declaring that every single step the North Korean regime takes toward more weapons is a step it takes into greater and greater danger. The future of this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator’s twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail.
In addition, we must uphold principles that have benefitted all of us, like respect for the rule of law — (applause) — individual rights, and freedom of navigation and overflight, including open shipping lanes. Three principles and these principles — (applause) — create stability and build trust, security, and prosperity among like-minded nations.
We must also deal decisively with other threats to our security and the future of our children, such as criminal cartels, human smuggling, drugs, corruption, cybercrime, and territorial expansion. As I have said many times before: All civilized people must come together to drive out terrorists and extremists from our societies, stripping them of funding, territory, and ideological support. We must stop radical Islamic terrorism.
So let us work together for a peaceful, prosperous, and free Indo-Pacific. I am confident that, together, every problem we have spoken about today can be solved and every challenge we face can be overcome.
If we succeed in this effort, if we seize the opportunities before us and ground our partnerships firmly in the interests of our own people, then together we will achieve everything we dream for our nations and for our children.
We will be blessed with a world of strong, sovereign, and independent nations, thriving in peace and commerce with others. They will be places where we can build our homes and where families, businesses, and people can flourish and grow.
If we do this, will we look at the globe half a century from now, and we will marvel at the beautiful constellation of nations — each different, each unique, and each shining brightly and proudly throughout this region of the world. And just as when we look at the stars in the night sky, the distance of time will make most of the challenges we have and that we spoke of today seem very, very small.
What will not seem small — what is not small — will be the big choices that all of our nations will have to make to keep their stars glowing very, very brightly.
In America, like every nation that has won and defended its sovereignty, we understand that we have nothing so precious as our birthright, our treasured independence, and our freedom.
That knowledge has guided us throughout American history. It has inspired us to sacrifice and innovate. And it is why today, hundreds of years after our victory in the American Revolution, we still remember the words of an American founder and our second President of the United States, John Adams. As an old man, just before his death, this great patriot was asked to offer his thoughts on the 50th anniversary of glorious American freedom. He replied with the words: independence forever.
It’s a sentiment that burns in the heart of every patriot and every nation. Our hosts here in Vietnam have known this sentiment not just for 200 years, but for nearly 2,000 years. (Applause.) It was around 40 AD when two Vietnamese sisters, the Trung Sisters, first awakened the spirit of the people of this land. It was then that, for the first time, the people of Vietnam stood for your independence and your pride.
Today, the patriots and heroes — (applause) — of our histories hold the answers to the great questions of our future and our time. They remind us of who we are and what we are called to do.
Together, we have it in our power to lift our people and our world to new heights — heights that have never been attained,
So let us choose a future of patriotism, prosperity, and pride. Let us choose wealth and freedom over poverty and servitude. Let us choose a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Finally, let us never forget the world has many places — (applause) — many dreams, and many roads. But in all of the world, there is no place like home.
so, for family, for country, for freedom, for history, and for the glory of God, protect your home, defend your home, and love your home today and for all time. (Applause.)
Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless the Pacific region. And God Bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)
1:51 P.M. ICT
President Donald J. Trump’s Participation in the 25th Annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and 2017 APEC CEO Summit
“We will find opportunities for our private sector to work with yours and to create jobs and wealth for us all. We seek strong partners, not weak partners. We seek strong neighbors, not weak neighbors. Above all, we seek friendship, and we don’t dream of domination.” – President Donald J. Trump
PROMOTE A FREE AND OPEN INDO-PACIFIC REGION: President Donald J. Trump advanced high-standard rules so the Indo-Pacific region can continue to develop and prosper.
• President Trump delivered a clear public message at the APEC CEO Summit that the United States seeks robust trade relationships rooted in the principles of fairness and reciprocity and is willing to make bilateral trade agreements on that basis with any country in the region.
• The President emphasized that it is in America’s interest to have partners throughout the region that are thriving, prosperous, and self-reliant.
• President Trump committed to reforming United States development finance institutions to better incentivize private-sector investment as an alternative to state-directed initiatives that come with many strings attached.
• The President highlighted that the United States has been an active partner in the region since America won independence, and will be a reliable friend, partner, and ally in the region for a long time to come.
ADVANCE AMERICA’S PROSPERITY: President Trump promoted American prosperity and trade, including through new investments and energy sales that will lead to more American jobs.
• President Trump and other APEC leaders underlined APEC’s crucial role in support of a trading system that is free and open, but also fair.
• APEC leaders recognized the importance of reciprocal and mutually advantageous trade and investment frameworks, and committed to work together to address unfair trade practices.
• The President and his counterparts urgently called for the removal of market-distorting subsidies and other types of support by governments and related entities.
• President Trump delivered a strong public message at the APEC CEO Summit that the World Trade Organization (WTO) can only function properly when all members follow the rules as negotiated.
• APEC leaders committed to improve the functioning of the WTO to adequately address challenges it is facing, and pledged to work to ensure effective and timely enforcement of WTO rules.
• The President and other APEC leaders committed to lowering barriers that impede services exports, and committed to enhancing regional market access for service providers.
• APEC leaders pledged to consider actions to facilitate the development of the internet and digital economy, including e-commerce and digital trade.
• President Trump and other APEC leaders called for the full implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation to realize meaningful and widespread benefits; encouraged the facilitation of energy-related trade and investment; and committed to enhancing regional food markets and food standards, and reducing barriers to food trade, including burdensome and unnecessarily restrictive trade measures.
• The President and other APEC leaders encouraged public and private sector initiatives that enhance women’s economic empowerment; improve women’s access to capital, assets, and markets; increase women’s participation in high-growth and high-wage sectors; and promote women’s leadership.
• The United States, with Australia and Chinese Taipei, established the first-ever APEC fund to support and promote women’s economic participation.
• The President and his counterparts resolved to enhance energy security.
• APEC leaders committed to strengthening the ability of small businesses to compete in international markets and to increasing the preparedness of workers for the digital age.
• Before arriving in Vietnam, President Trump made permanent the United States issuance of APEC Business Travel Cards, in order to facilitate United States business travel in the region.
Remarks by President Trump and President Quang of Vietnam in Joint Press Conference | Hanoi, Vietnam
10:27 A.M. ICT
PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) Your Excellency Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, ladies and gentlemen, members of the media: President Trump and I have had fruitful talks about the bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.
We both share the views that the bilateral relations have scored substantial results over the years, delivering enormous benefits to the people of both countries.
During President Trump’s state visit to Vietnam, Vietnam and the United States issued a joint statement pledging to further deepen the Vietnam-United States Comprehensive Partnership on the basis of mutual respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political systems.
Within the visit’s framework, the two sides reached important agreements on economy and trade. Addressing war legacy issues will receive higher priority, and we are committed to collaborate actively on this matter. Vietnam highly values the United States decision to cooperate with Vietnam on dioxin cleanup at Bien Hoa Air Base after the two countries successfully concluded the dioxin cleanup project at Da Nang Airport.
The President and I discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest. We agreed to strengthen our close coordination at regional and international forums to contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region and the world at large.
We also agreed on the importance of the ASEAN-United States strategic partnership. We believe that the development of Vietnam-U.S. relations would not only benefit each country, but also contribute to strengthening ASEAN-U.S. relations for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the Asia Pacific and the world.
The President’s state visit to Vietnam marks a milestone in Vietnam-U.S. relations, creating strong momentum for the substantive, effective and stable development of the bilateral comprehensive partnership.
I wish President Trump and members of the U.S. delegation a successful visit, and I hope that you will have good impressions of our country and our people.
I sincerely thank Mr. President, personally, and the American people for the warm friendship towards our country and people, and I appreciate the great efforts to develop Vietnam-U.S. bilateral relations. I would also like to thank all American and Vietnamese reporters who are here today. Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, President Quang. And thank you for your tremendous hospitality during my first visit to Vietnam. It is a pleasure to be with you right here in Hanoi.
On behalf of the entire American delegation, I want to thank the Vietnamese people for their warm welcome, and to reaffirm the strong friendship and growing partnership between our two nations.
Travelers from all around the world, including many Americans, come to Vietnam each year to admire your magnificent limestone mountains, cycle through your many winding hillsides, or swim in the majestic Ha Long Bay.
Your nation’s magnificence brings different people together from around the world in shared appreciation of the great beauty and splendor of your wonderful country. Over the past two decades, our two nations have come together to find common purpose based on common interests. And that’s what’s happening. It is those crucial bonds we are here to reaffirm today.
In May, the United States transferred the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau to the people and country of Vietnam. Named for U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr., this vessel once patrolled the coasts of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Today, the same American vessel, a gift between partners, is sailing the waters of the Pacific on its way to patrol these coasts for the people of Vietnam.
This month we mark Veterans Day in the United States. And out of war and conflict, we have achieved a deep friendship, partnership, and we have achieved peace. Bound by mutual respect and common experience, our veterans laid the foundation for that achievement between our nations.
Our decades-long joint humanitarian efforts with the Vietnamese people and government to account for and recover personnel still missing — so important to us — from the war honors these horrors of this horrendous war. We want our servicemembers support — and we give total support to the families, and we strengthen the foundation of our comprehensive partnership. That is so important to us.
In the spirit of our friendship, I want to congratulate President Quang for hosting a very successful APEC Leaders Meeting this week in Da Nang. Congratulations. You did a fantastic job. Thank you.
As I stated in my address to the APEC CEO Summit on Friday, the United States is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific, where strong, independent nations respect each other’s sovereignty, uphold the rule of law, and advance responsible commerce. We want our partners in the Indo-Pacific to be proud and self-reliant, not proxies or satellites.
We look forward to achieving a bilateral trade agreement with partners who abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade — two very important words: fair and reciprocal. It hasn’t been that way for the United States almost at all. And we’re changing that, and we’re changing it rapidly. For trade to work, all countries must play by the rules.
I am encouraged that Vietnam has recently become the fastest growing export market to the United States.
Mr. President, I applaud your efforts to implement economic reforms and increase Vietnam’s trade and investment in all directions. The United States is enthusiastic about reforms that promote economic prosperity for all Vietnamese citizens, as we look to your growing middle class as a key market for American goods and services. We just had a great discussion about American goods and services coming in to Vietnam. Two-way street.
I am confident that American energy, agriculture, financial services, aviation, digital commerce, and defense products are able to meet all of your many commercial needs — and, in fact, not only meet them, but what we do is better than anybody else.
Moving forward, I welcome Vietnam’s commitment to eliminating trade barriers for U.S. agricultural products. It’s very important. We must ensure that American farmers and all American companies, especially those in digital services and e-commerce, can compete on a level playing field. And we look forward to working with you to combat predatory and unfair trade practices in the region.
On security issues, we continue to work with our Vietnamese partners and with partners across the region on a range of challenges, including maritime security, counterterrorism, human and drug trafficking, cybercrime, and disease prevention.
Later today, I will travel to the Philippines, where I will discuss many of these issues at the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit. The ASEAN Summit is going to be something, I think, very, very special. I look forward to attending.
We will also discuss the growing threat from North Korea. As I said in my speech to the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly: All responsible nations must act now to ensure that North Korea’s rogue regime stops threatening the world with unthinkable loss of life.
Safety and security are goals that should unite all civilized nations. We want progress, not provocation. I mean, we have been provoked; the world has been provoked. We don’t want that. We want stability, not chaos. And we want peace, not war.
Mr. President, thank you for being such a gracious host during my time right here in Vietnam. I toured areas of Vietnam, and it is magnificent what’s happening.
Over the past two decades, our nations have continued to grow closer in advancing our shared interests. The history of our two nations reveals the possibilities for peace and progress in our world. Moving forward as partners, we will achieve great prosperity and success for the American people and for the Vietnamese people.
I thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)
Q (As interpreted.) President Trần Đại Quang, I’m from Vietnamese Agency. Can you elaborate of progress in the Vietnam-U.S. relations over the past few years?
PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) Over the past years, the Vietnam-U.S. relations have made very strong progress in all areas — politics, diplomacy, economy, trade, science and technology, health, humanitarian areas, and people-to-people exchange.
And, in particular, high-level contacts, meetings, and exchange of delegations on the basis of the comprehensive partnership have produced substantive and meaningful results. And, among them, the visit to the United States by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in May this year, and the state visit to Vietnam of Honorable President Donald Trump in the very first year of his term of office are the highlights.
Meetings between leaders of Vietnam and the President during his visit are very useful, and the meetings give us the opportunity to understand each other better and to work together on areas of mutual interest.
The substantive and effective growth of the comprehensive partnership between the two countries have been, and will be, delivering benefits to our two peoples and contributing to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation, and prosperity in the region and the world.
Q I’m from VTV and have another question for President Trần Đại Quang. Can you please provide your assessment of the future outlook of the Vietnam-U.S. relationship?
PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) Thank you for your question. Well, during the talks that I had with the President, we acknowledged that there is still much room for further expansion of the bilateral relations, and we discussed ways and means to further strengthen the cooperation in a more substantive and effective manner in the time to come.
And the two sides also pledged to increase contacts and dialogues, especially the high-level meetings through bilateral visits and meetings at the sidelines of the regional and international forums.
The two sides will also promote the momentum for development of the economic and trade investment relations on the basis of mutual interest, minimize the trade investment disputes, and will continue to effectively implement the economic and trade agreements that we have signed.
We’ll also strengthen cooperation in science and technology, environment, climate change, humanitarian issues, human resources development, and expanding people-to-people exchange — for the enhanced comprehensive partnership, the interest of the two peoples and for the benefit of peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world. Thank you.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. And if I could throw a little bit of a change up here, I’ll ask both leaders a question as opposed to just one.
Mr. President, to you, if we could first. On the way here to Hanoi, from Da Nang, you talked about your meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday in which you said you received further assurances from him that he did not meddle in the U.S. election.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s true.
Q There was some uncertainty that brewed back in the United States over your statement that you said, “When he tells me that, I believe that he means it.” That was taken in some circles, including Senator John McCain, to think that you believe that he is saying he did not interfere in the election. Could you, once and for all, definitively, sir — yes or no — say whether or not you believe that President Putin and/or Russia interfered in the election?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: What I said there, I’m surprised that there’s any conflict on this. What I said there is that I believe he believes that, and that’s very important for somebody to believe. I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election.
As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. I believe in our intel agencies, our intelligence agencies. I’ve worked with them very strongly. There weren’t seventeen as was previously reported; there were actually four. But they were saying there was seventeen; there were actually four. But as currently led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.
Now, at the same time, I want to be able — because I think it’s very important — to get along with Russia, to get along with China, to get along with Vietnam, to get along with lots of countries, because we have a lot of things we have to solve. And, frankly, Russia and China in particular can help us with the North Korea problem, which is one of our truly great problems.
So I’m not looking to stand and start arguing with somebody when there’s reporters all around and cameras recording and seeing our conversation. I think it was very obvious to everybody. I believe that President Putin really feels — and he feels strongly — that he did not meddle in our election. What he believes is what he believes.
What I believe is that we have to get to work. And I think everybody understood this that heard the answer. We have to get to work to solve Syria, to solve North Korea, to solve Ukraine, to solve terrorism.
And, you know, people don’t realize Russia has been very, very heavily sanctioned. They were sanctioned at a very high level, and that took place very recently. It’s now time to get back to healing a world that is shattered and broken. Those are very important things. And I feel that having Russia in a friendly posture, as opposed to always fighting with them, is an asset to the world and an asset to our country, not a liability.
And, by the way, Hillary Clinton had the reset button. She wanted to get back together with Russia. She even spelled “reset” wrong. That’s how it started, and then it got worse.
President Obama wanted to get along with Russia, but the chemistry wasn’t there. Getting along with other nations is a good thing, not a bad thing — believe me. It’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
Q President Quang, if I could ask a question of you. There are some people who believe that Vietnam could make an effective facilitator in bringing the United States and North Korea together to at least lay the groundwork, potentially, for negotiations. What do you believe Vietnam could bring to the table in that regard?
PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) On North Korea issue, Vietnam is committed to seriously observing all the relevant resolution at the UNSC, and we support the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. And we’ll do our utmost and do whatever we can to contribute to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Q You tweeted this morning about trying very hard to be friends with Kim Jong-un. Is that really a possibility? What would it take for that to happen at this point?
And for President Quang, could you comment on the President’s offer to mediate the South China Sea dispute? Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Steve, I think anything is a possibility. Strange things happen in life. That might be a strange thing to happen, but it’s certainly a possibility. If that did happen, it would be a good thing for — I can tell you — for North Korea. But it would also be good for lots of other places, and it would be good for the world.
So, certainly, it is something that could happen. I don’t know that it will, but it would be very, very nice if it did.
PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) With regard to the South China Sea issue, I have shared my thoughts with President Donald Trump on the recent developments in this area. And it is our policy to settle disputes in the South China Sea through peaceful negotiations, and with respect for diplomatic and legal process, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea.
Thank you very much.
10:48 A.M. ICT
The White House
Remarks by President Trump Before Bilateral Meeting with President Quang of Vietnam | Hanoi, Vietnam
9:14 A.M. ICT
PRESIDENT QUANG: (No translation provided.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. And I appreciate it. And I appreciate the incredible rollout that they’ve given to the United States — not just the President of the United States, but the United States as a whole.
We’ve had an incredible day in Vietnam. The APEC meeting started it out, and that was a tremendous success. And thank you very much for hosting it.
I want to just wish my best in condolences for the situation that you have with Damrey. That was tough. That was very, very tough. And I know you’re handling it well. And our best wishes and condolences.
We also want to thank you for helping us with the U.S. embassy site where we have a new embassy. And it will be something that, I think, will be very good for the future and the future of our two countries.
The North Korean situation continues to be a problem. I think that China — as you know, we saw — we were in China yesterday and the day before. And President Xi, I think, is going to be a tremendous help. I hope Russia, likewise, will be a tremendous help. I think they can make a big difference.
I know that South Korea and Japan are very much unified in the sense that they want to be able to take care of a problem that’s right next to them. Really, they’re neighbors. And I appreciate all of the good work you’re doing with regard to the North Korean problem.
South China Sea — as you know, we’re looking at — we’re looking at it together. If I could help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know. I know we’ve had a dispute for quite a while with China. If I can help in any way, I’m a very good mediator and a very good arbitrator. I have done plenty of it from both sides. So if I can help you, let me know.
Our defense ties are terrific. We’re doing a lot of business with you in terms of your purchasing of materials and also purchasing of very substantial military equipment. And we appreciate that. It’s jobs for America, and you get the best equipment in the world. Nobody makes it like we make it.
And I think that more than anything else, this will be a meeting of trade. We will be a great trade partner, and whether we’ll be treated fairly — past administrations didn’t understand trade and didn’t know too much about what was going on with trade. But we do. But we also know how to do a lot of trade. So I think it’s going to very, very good for Vietnam.
And, Mr. President, I just again want to thank you for being so respectful and nice to my entire delegation and to its President. And on behalf of the United States of America, we wish you very well and a great respect for what Vietnam has been able to accomplish and do in a very, very short period of time.
So I want to give you a personal congratulations. Thank you very much.
9:19 A.M. ICT
Remarks by President Trump Before Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Phuc of Vietnam | Hanoi, Vietnam
Office of Government
11:33 A.M. ICT
PRIME MINISTER PHÚC: (No translation provided.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister. I want to start by saying that the job done by Vietnam and your representatives, including yourself, the President, and everybody that I met — so many — is outstanding with respect to APEC. This was hosted so beautifully, so professionally.
I got to tour parts of Vietnam, and it’s really looking well. It’s looking beautiful. And the people are happy, and the people are waving, and they like the United States; perhaps they like me. But they were really lined up in the streets by the tens of thousands, and we very much appreciate that.
You are right — I believe this is the longest tour ever made by an American President of Asia. I’m now going for a day and a half to the Philippines, and then it will be back home to Washington and the United States. But we have really enjoyed ourselves in Vietnam, and we very much appreciate it.
Important to me is trade, because right now we have a very substantial trade imbalance with Vietnam — approximately $32 billion, which is a tremendous amount of money. And we have to take care of our American companies and we have to take care of American workers. And perhaps the administrations previous to me didn’t like the subject, understand the subject — something was wrong — because there are so many problems having to do with trade imbalance. So we want to get that straightened out very quickly.
We would like you to buy your equipment from the United States. We make the best equipment, we make the best military gear and planes and anything you can name. The missiles are in a category that nobody even comes close.
I told before, as you know, a missile was shot into Saudi Arabia recently, from Yemen. And one of our missile systems knocked it down. Nobody even knew what happened. And the missile exploded in air; knocked it down like nothing. We make the greatest missiles in the world, greatest planes in the world, greatest commercial aircraft in the world.
So we would like Vietnam to buy from us, and we have to get rid of the trade imbalance. We can’t have the trade imbalance.
Other than that, I think we’re going to have a fantastic relationship, and I look forward to it for many years to come.
11:39 A.M. ICT
Remarks by President Trump Before Expanded Bilateral Meeting with Secretary General Trong of the Communist Party of Vietnam | Hanoi, Vietnam
Communist Party of Vietnam Headquarters
11:09 A.M. ICT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. You are a man of great honor and respect, and it’s an honor to be with you. And thank you for having us. And we want to thank Vietnam and the Vietnamese people. They have been so terrific. They greeted us with such respect and, really, such affection. The relationship is so healed. And to think where we were and where we’ve come is a tribute to both countries.
We have so many things in common. We have been discussing at great length, today and yesterday, trade — and trade, in particular, with Vietnam. And we’re opening up and you’re opening up, and it’s going to even out. And we’re both going to do very well for our people. Trade has become a very important element of our relationship and it will continue onward.
And again, I want to thank you very much for this. It is a true honor to be with you. Thank you.
11:11 A.M. ICT
Presidential Proclamation Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War
COMMEMORATION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIETNAM WAR
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Today, I lead our Nation in somber reflection as we continue the 13-year Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War that began in 2012. We salute our brave Vietnam veterans who, in service to our Nation and in defense of liberty, fought gallantly against the spread of communism and defended the freedom of the Vietnamese people.
Fifty years ago, in 1967, nearly 500,000 American troops served in South Vietnam, along with approximately 850,000 troops of our allies. Today, during Veterans and Military Families Month and as the Federal Government observes Veterans Day, I am in Vietnam alongside business and political leaders to advance the interests of America, and to promote peace and stability in this region and around the world. I cherish this opportunity to recall, with humility, the sacrifices our veterans made for our freedom and our Nation’s strength.
During this Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, we embrace our responsibility to help our Vietnam veterans and their families heal from the heavy toll of war. We remember the more than 58,000 soldiers whose names are memorialized on black granite wall in our Nation’s capital for having borne the heaviest cost of war. We also pay tribute to the brave patriots who suffered as prisoners of war, and we stand steadfast in our commitment not to rest until we account for the 1,253 heroes who have not yet returned to American soil.
To ensure the sacrifices of the 9 million heroes who served during this difficult chapter of our country’s history are remembered for generations to come, I signed into law the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, designating March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Throughout this Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, and every March 29 thereafter, we will honor all those who answered our Nation’s call to duty. We vow to never again confuse personal disapproval of war with prejudice against those who honorably wear the uniform of our Armed Forces. With conviction, our Nation pledges our enduring respect, our continuing care, and our everlasting commitment to all Vietnam veterans.
We applaud the thousands of local, State, and national organizations, businesses, and governmental entities that have already partnered with the Federal Government in the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Because of their remarkable leadership and dedication, countless Vietnam veterans and their families have been personally and publicly thanked and honored in ceremonies in towns and cities throughout our country. During my Administration, I promise to continue coordinated efforts to recognize all veterans of the Vietnam War for their service and sacrifice, and to provide them with the heartfelt acknowledgement and gratitude that they and their families so richly deserve.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby confirm the commitment of this Nation to the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, which began on Memorial Day, 2012 and will continue through Veterans Day, 2025. I call upon all Americans to offer each of our Vietnam veterans and their families a thank you on behalf of the Nation, both privately and during public ceremonies and programs across our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.
DONALD J. TRUMP
The White House
Remarks by President Trump and President Quang of Vietnam at State Banquet
International Convention Center
8:18 P.M. ICT
PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, distinguished American guests, ladies and gentlemen: On behalf of the leaders and people of Vietnam, I warmly welcome Mr. President and the high-level American delegation to Hanoi, Vietnam on a state visit at the most vibrant time of bilateral relations.
Leaders of the two countries attach great importance to the bilateral comprehensive cooperation. The presence of Mr. President and the distinguished American guests in Hanoi at the invitation of Vietnamese leaders is a testimony to that, as well as to the strong vitality of our relationship.
My congratulations to Mr. President on your productive, successful days within the APEC Economics Leaders Week in Da Nang City, with significant contributions to the overall success of the summit. I particularly appreciate Mr. President’s impressive speech at the APEC CEO Summit with a message reaffirming the strong and long-term commitment of the United States to the Asia Pacific, Indian Ocean, and the nearby region.
As an Asia Pacific power, the United States has been and will be playing a very important role to the regional countries, and we want the United States to promote that role in a more active manner.
Mr. President has stayed in Da Nang and is now in Hanoi. I believe you and other members of the delegation will better receive the hospitality and friendliness of the Vietnamese people accorded to you and the American people, as well as enjoying the beauty of Hanoi in fall.
Mr. President and distinguished American friends, the relationship between Vietnam and the United States has had a longstanding history. In the early years of the previous century, President Ho Chi Minh, a hero of national liberation and a great man of culture, as honored by UNESCO, was on his voyage in search of national salvation. He made a stop in Boston, Massachusetts, a cradle of the American Revolution.
The time he stayed and worked in the U.S. made him believe in the United States and American people as a partner and friends. Right before the establishment of the Vietnam Democratic Republic in August, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh had expressed the desire to meet American friends.
Rising above the ups and downs of history, Vietnam and the United States are now friends and comprehensive partners with mutual respect — respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and respective political system — making joint efforts for the Asia Pacific of peace, stability, cooperation, and development.
Since the normalization of relations two decades ago, leaders and people of the two countries have shelved the past, overcome differences, built on similarities, looked to the future, and unceasingly forged bilateral friendship and cooperation.
With the efforts of the leaders and people of both countries, the momentum of bilateral comprehensive partnership has been well maintained and promoted since the taking office of President Donald Trump. Cooperation has continued to grow, becoming more productive and substantive in a range of areas, such as politics, foreign affairs, economic, trade, healthcare, humanitarian issues, science and technology, exchange of people — which benefit both sides.
We are happy to note the completion of main components of the Da Nang Airport remediation project.
President Donald Trump’s visit to Vietnam represents an important milestone and the best moment in the history of bilateral relations, opening up a vast future for new pages in the bonds between our nations. I wish to share Mr. President’s words: No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach.
In the regional and international landscape of tremendous changes, I believe the comprehensive, stable, and mutually beneficial relations between Vietnam and the United States will be a positive factor, significantly contributing to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.
In this warm and friendly atmosphere, may I invite, Mr. President, American and Vietnamese friends to raise our glasses: To the ever-expanding relations between Vietnam and the United States, to the health of Mr. President, the two countries’ leaders, and to you all present here tonight.
(A toast is offered.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: President Quang, I would like to thank you very much. This is a very, very special time to be with you and the great people of Vietnam. We have come a long way, the United States and Vietnam. We’ve seen it from both sides of the picture, and this is the pleasant side.
You are doing a spectacular job, your people are doing a spectacular job, and in the United States likewise we are doing very, very well. We’ve had the highest stock market we’ve ever had, we had the lowest unemployment in 17 years, and people are pouring back into our country in the form of manufacturers, car builders, and others.
I toured Vietnam today. I was through the streets of Hanoi, and it’s incredible to see, incredible to watch, and it’s truly one of the great marvels. It really is something to behold. I would like to congratulate the people of Vietnam; I would like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on an outstanding job.
I would also like to send my condolences on Typhoon Damrey, which was devastating and a great loss of life in Vietnam. And please give my regards and our sympathies to everyone. I know you will rebuild, and the families will slowly rebuild. Very tough to recover from that kind of a loss. But please, on behalf of the United States, our condolences.
And at the same time, our congratulations on a job well done. Vietnam has truly become one of the great miracles of the world, and it’s very impressive. No matter where you come from, no matter who you are, when you look at what’s happened in Vietnam, there is nothing more impressive.
Thank you very much for this honor, and I look forward to seeing you, Mr. President, many, many times over the future. Thank you. (Applause.)
8:32 P.M. ICT
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