The European Union has approved a trade agreement with Vietnam, disproving skeptics who thought the EU's divorce with Britain and Vietnam human rights concerns would delay the vote.
Members of the EU Parliament last week voted 401 to 192 in favor of ratifying the agreement, which would roll back almost all import tariffs between the bloc and Vietnam. The EU is looking for new economic tailwinds amid concerns with other partners: the British exit from the union threatens commerce, while U.S. President Donald Trump has turned his attention from the China trade war to issue more tariffs against the European Union this month. The vote was also welcomed as good news by Vietnam, which worries its economy will be hurt by the U.S.-China trade war and the spread of the new coronavirus.
“History shows that isolation does not change a country,” said Bernd Lange, chair of the EU Parliament trade committee and vice chair of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. “That is why Parliament voted in favor of this trade agreement with Vietnam. With it, we strengthen the role of the EU in Vietnam and the region, ensuring that our voice has more weight than before.”
The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement would be Europe's second in Southeast Asia, after one with Singapore. Its decreased tariffs are expected to increase Vietnamese exports of seafood, textiles, and wood products to the EU, and EU exports of beverages, machinery, and drugs to Vietnam.
Source : VOA