The United States is working closely with Laos to implement the terms of the 2005 bilateral trade agreement, normalize trade relations between the two countries, and support their membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Vietnamese and Lao BTAs are subject to different ratification procedures by the Congress. Vietnam must abide by the provisions of the 1975 Jackson Vanik Constitution Amendment, which requires congressional annual agreement on the president`s renunciation authorizing trade. (President Bush recently extended the waiver for another year) However, as the government of Laos did not become communist until December 1975, it fell outside the Jackson Vanik provisions. Therefore, Vietnam`s NTR status, if approved, is renewed annually. But Laos` new commercial status will be permanent from the beginning. Another effect of Jackson Vanik`s Vietnamese status is that Congress cannot change its trade agreement while still being able to make changes to the Lao BTA. Strong criticism of the problems in Vietnam and Laos tends to backfire, close communication channels and strengthen hard-line politics, making repressive tactics more or less likely. This unintended outcome is generalizing to other potential areas of conflict, including trade.
Both Vietnamese and Laotian officials are open to engagement and negotiation, and silent diplomacy can produce results where threats and harassment have little effect. Given the history of U.S. interference in the region, arm-on-arm tactics also have little moral basis. The United States severed relations with Vietnam in 1975; However, relations with Laos have not been severed and have never been interrupted. After president Clinton repealed the post-war package against Vietnam in 1994 and established diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1995, negotiations for a trade agreement began. The agreement was signed in July 2000 after an agreement in principle a year earlier. The Lao Convention was signed in December 1998. Describes the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements in which this country participates, including with the United States. Contains websites and other resources for U.S.
companies to get more information on how to use these agreements. After Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978 to drive the Khmer Rouge out of Pol Pot, the United States sided with the Khmer Rouge and its Chinese allies to oppose the Vietnamese occupation. The trade embargo against northern Vietnam has been extended to unified Vietnam and Cambodia. There has been no official embargo against Laos, but no aid has been granted. U.S. allies have been pressured to sneak into sanctions, as they are today with Cuba. Meanwhile, some veteran groups established and immortalized the view that Americans were still kept alive after the Vietnam War, symbolized by the black POW MIA flag, still hoisted at the U.S. Capitol and other government buildings.
Despite the recognized cooperation of Vietnam and Laos in searching for the remains of the war dead, the POW-MIA myth helped postpone the end of the trade embargo until the mid-1990s. Under the BTA, the United States extended the status of normal trade relations (NTR) (formerly known as the “most-favoured nation” or MFN) to products originating in Laos. Laos has agreed to implement a large number of reforms to its trade regime, including most-favoured-nation and national treatment for U.S. products, transparency in regulation, establishment of a regime to protect intellectual property rights, and implementation of WTO-compliant customs rules and procedures. . . .