Merkley, Van Hollen Joint Statement on Upgrading U.S. Relationship with Vietnam

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Maryland’s U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollenissuedthe following joint statement after the announcement of the establishment of a “comprehensive strategic partnership” between the United States and Vietnam, during a visit by President Biden to Vietnam:

“The foundation to a strong working relationship between our two nations is addressing the painful wartime legacy and promoting reconciliation.

“This is an opportunity to deepen our understanding and commitment to the legacy programs from the Vietnam War, including taking on the elimination of cluster munitions and the remediation of dioxin. The progress exemplified by the announcement in Hanoi reminds us that even the bitterest of enemies, traumatized by the suffering of war, can overcome the past to build a future of peace and prosperity together.

“This is also an opportunity to expand our partnership to open the door to new investment opportunities, including in advanced technologies and green energy, which will benefit both countries.”

In April, Merkley and Van Hollen led a bicameral Congressional Delegation visit to Vietnam, including meeting with top Vietnamese government officials, examining the painful wartime legacy of the Vietnam conflict, and traveling to a town on the Mekong River experiencing rising sea levels due to climate change.

Merkley and Van Hollen are members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where Van Hollen serves as Chair on the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.