Vietnam, EU Eye Trade Alternative to US
Vietnam and Europe could be swapping more pomelo fruit and Portuguese cheese soon if a new trade deal comes into effect, linking two regions that have been looking for an alternative to the trade tensions brought on by the United States. The European Parliament is scheduled to discuss the trade deal on May 28, after years of negotiations between Vietnam and the European Union. The deal is significant not only because it facilitates exports, like tropical fruit, but also as it lays out commitments on human rights, labor unions, and protection of the environment. Critics, though, say the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement would not really enforce human rights standards and would continue the offshoring of jobs that has left workers vulnerable. For the EU, the deal is one more way to access Asia’s fast-growing economies, set a model for trading with developing countries, and hold Vietnam’s one-party state accountable on its promise to level the business playing field. For Vietnam, it is a chance to call itself a country open for business, with many trade deals, as well as raise quality standards to those expected by European customers. “It includes a lot of commitments to improve the business environment in Vietnam,” Le Thanh Liem, standing vice chair of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, said at a European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam event. Vietnamese officials often say that it helps to have an external factor to get difficult internal reforms over the finish line. For example it might be hard to convince conservatives to allow workers to form their own labor unions. But if there is an outside incentive, such as greater trade with the EU, that could bring conservatives on board. Labor unions were one concern for Europeans. Another is the loss of blue-collar jobs to Asia,... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Vietnam, EU Eye Trade Alternative to US, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Monday, 20 May
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