The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

The United States secretary of commerce will lead members of the President’s Export Council (PEC) on a fact-finding trip to Vietnam and Japan from March 20 to 24.

Serving as the principal national advisory committee on international trade, the council advises the president on government policies and programs that affect US trade performance. It also promotes export expansion and provides a forum for discussion and resolution of trade-related problems among the business, industrial, agricultural, labor, and government sectors.

Council members will gather information on the further development of Vietnam and Japan as growing markets for US goods and services. Specifically, the delegation will provide observations, analysis, and
guidance on:

 Benefits and opportunities for US exporters in Vietnam and Japan
under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement

 Impediments to commercial opportunities

 Ideas for increasing bilateral commercial linkages

The TPP will provide significant strategic and commercial opportunities for Japan in the Asia–Pacific region, while also strengthening Japan’s regional leadership and deepening the already strong US–Japan bilateral economic relationship.

The enduring commercial relationship between our countries reinforces our strategic partnership, and remains a key focus of the US administration’s rebalance to Asia. Furthermore, underscoring the strong bilateral commercial relationship is a key factor in resolving current market access impediments for US industry and advancing initiatives to improve the business climate.

The Vietnamese economy is growing at a rate nearly twice that of the global average. Currently, the United States is the third-largest exporter to Vietnam, behind China and Japan. Much as it will for Japan, the TPP will offer the Vietnamese economy significant commercial and strategic benefits.

However, the government of Vietnam will have to institute far-reaching economic reforms to implement the TPP. The fact-finding trip will help identify needed reforms and potential technical assistance, particularly in the areas of public procurement, state-owned enterprises, intellectual property protection, labor relations, and customs, so that TPP adoption can take place as expeditiously as possible for the benefit of US and Vietnamese businesses.

The [US] is the third-largest exporter to Vietnam, behind China and Japan.