U.S.-Vietnam trade deal signed before Trump meeting with Kim Jong Un

by Samuel Abasi Posted on February 27th, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong presided over the signing of several commercial trade deals between their two countries worth some $20 billion Wednesday during the first day of Trump’s visit to the Southeast Asian country for meetings with North Korea.

The president is in Hanoi, Vietnam, this week for his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un where it is expected that they will discuss denuclearization among other topics.

While there, Trump attended a signing ceremony where U.S. manufacturer Boeing inked deals with Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways and VietJet Aviation JSC worth $15.7 billion.

In the deals, Bamboo agreed to purchase 10 787-9 Dreamliners worth about $3 billion and VietJet will be buying 100 737 Max airplanes at $12.7 billion, Boeing said Wednesday.

Budget airliner Vietjet placed its order back in 2016, making it the largest commercial jet purchase in Vietnam’s history at the time, Boeing said in a press release.

Trump earlier hinted at the deal during a bilateral meeting between the two countries when he praised Vietnam for its “thriving” economy.

He said that since his last meeting in Vietnam a year ago, the two countries had conducted a lot of trade with more deals to be made in the future.

“Since that meeting, we’ve done a lot of trade, and I know today whether it’s Boeing and a couple of others, we’re going to be signing some very big deals where you’re buying a lot of different products from the United States, which we greatly appreciate,” he said.

He added praise onto Vietnam, holding it up as “an example” for North Korea, stating that this is the reason why Hanoi was selected as the venue for their second summit.

“Vietnam is thriving and, very importantly, we have a very big dinner tonight, as you know, and meetings with North Korea, chairman Kim, and we both felt very good about having this very important summit in Vietnam because you really are an example as to what can happen with good thinking,” he said.

Trump also said he was “very proud” of Vietnam and how much it has improved economically in the year since he last visited.

Earlier in the day, Trump had held up Vietnam in a tweet as a model of what North Korea can become if it would only denuclearize.

“The potential is AWESOME,” he said. “A great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un.”

Trump was scheduled to have his first one-on-one meeting with North Korean leader Kim later Wednesday before dinner.

Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize. The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un. We will know fairly soon – Very Interesting!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019

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