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Trump goes to Vietnam
Meet/Greet Vietnam War VetsAPEC CEO SummitBilateral Meet w/PM PhucBilateral meet w/President QuangJoint Press Conference
November 09, 2017 Remarks by President Trump in Meet-and-Greet with Vietnam War Veterans Hyatt Regency Da Nang Resort and Spa Da Nang, Vietnam
2:15 P.M. ICT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Hello, everybody. And I assume that by now you’re pretty exhausted. The media must be absolutely exhausted, looking to go home.
But we have had a tremendous time. And we’re in Vietnam tomorrow, we go to the Philippines, and then back to the United States. We’ll be landing in Washington. And I think we’ve had a tremendous period of time, starting in Japan, going to South Korea, going to China.
Last night’s celebration in China was something, the likes of which few people have ever seen before. So we’ve had a very exciting time.
I’m very honored to be representing our country, and I will say that, when you speak of honors, one of my great honors is to present the people standing right behind me — great, great warriors and veterans of the Vietnam War.
Our veterans are a national treasure, and I thank them all for their service, sacrifice, and patriotism.
To each of you with me today, you are the heroes who fulfill your duty to our nation. And each of you, under the most difficult conditions, did what you had to do, and you did it well.
My administration, as you all know, is committed to rebuilding our military and honoring the hard work and sacrifices of all veterans. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve done with the Veterans Administration. Dr. Shulkin has done an amazing job with choice and accountability and so many other things that we are doing and in the process of doing. The Veterans Administration is a whole different place.
Our accountability efforts in Vietnam are very, very important to all of us. We will not rest until all of the 1,253 missing veterans are returned home. I want to thank the government of Vietnam for their assistance in our efforts.
Today, I’m signing a proclamation to honor the veterans of the Vietnam War. This is part of the ongoing 13-year commemoration of their sacrifice for freedom. And I just want to thank these seven very brave people for being here. I got to know them for a few minutes upfront, and they are definitely tough, smart cookies. We like them. I think they like me too. I’m not sure, but I think — (applause) — no, I think they do. I think they do. I think they see what we’re doing for our military.
Would you like to say a few words, any of you guys? Would you like to say something? Huh?
MR. HOPPER: Sure.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Come on. Come on up here. Here’s your chance. You can be a big star now.
MR. HOPPER: Well, I’m not sure about that. But just on behalf of many of us standing up in the front of the room today, I just want to say what an honor and privilege it is to be with our President. I so admire what you’re doing for our country.
Thank you for your dedication to our military, our country. And we’re all behind you in making America great again.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. That’s so nice. Thank you very much.
MR. HOPPER: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)
MR. REYNOLDS: It’s an honor to be here. My family is so proud. My wife loves you. (Laughter.) She does. We all love you.
All of the veterans that I represent in my community asked me to say to you: Keep doing what you’re doing. We need to win. We need to make America great again. And we definitely think you are on the right track. So, thank you. It’s honor to meet you, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We will keep it going, and we will get it done.
MR. REYNOLDS: Absolutely.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No doubt.
MR. REYNOLDS: I believe it. Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Anybody?
MR. MORGAN: Mr. President, from my heart, thank you for your support of the military, and it’s an honor to be here as one of seven Vietnam veterans representing the 58,000 heroes who never made it home.
Thank you so much.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you so much. (Applause.)
MR. MORGAN: Thank you, sir. Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You nervous?
MR. GOODE: I am nervous.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t think so. I don’t think so.
MR. GOODE: I am nervous.
You know, it’s an honor for me to be here today to meet the President of the United States that’s doing such a fine job for America. I’m so proud of him and what he’s doing, and I’m also really proud to represent all those veterans that are back home to be one of seven of these veterans that are here today. It’s such an honor to represent the rest of those veterans in the United States of America.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I just want to thank everybody. These are special, special people. And just in speaking to them, before I came up — they were so warm and so loving of our country — I said, “Hey, would you like to say a few words?” And they said them better than anybody can say them.
They’re brave, they’re strong, they’re great patriots. And we just want to thank you and all of the thousands and thousands and all of the people that served with you and in all of the other wars.
And, you know, one of the things, again, that I’m so happy with is what we’re doing with the whole Veterans Administration. It is a whole different ballgame.
And I’m going to sign a proclamation, and I’ll sign it with one pen, but we’re going to make sure we have seven pens. And we’re going to get you each one. But it’s an important proclamation, and we’ll do it right now.
Thank you all. You have done a fantastic job. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
So this is the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War by the President of the United States of America. It’s a proclamation. And thank you very much.
(The proclamation is signed.)
2:21 P.M. EDT
November 10, 2017 Remarks by President Trump at APEC CEO Summit | Da Nang, Vietnam Ariyana Da Nang Exhibition Center Da Nang, Vietnam 1:19 P.M. ICT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: What an honor it is to be here in Vietnam — in the very heart of the Indo-Pacific — to address the people and business leaders of this region.
This has already been a remarkable week for the United States in this wonderful part of the world. Starting from Hawaii, Melania and I traveled to Japan, South Korea, and China, and now to Vietnam, to be here with all of you today.
Before we begin, I want to address all those affected by Typhoon Damrey. Americans are praying for you and for your recovery in the months ahead. Our hearts are united with the Vietnamese people suffering in the aftermath of this terrible storm.
This trip comes at an exciting time for America. A new optimism has swept all across our country. Economic growth has reached 3.2 percent, and going higher. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 17 years. The stock market is at an all-time high. And the whole world is lifted by America’s renewal.
Everywhere I’ve traveled on this journey, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the good news from America. But even more, I’ve had the honor of sharing our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific — a place where sovereign and independent nations, with diverse cultures and many different dreams, can all prosper side-by-side, and thrive in freedom and in peace.
I am so thrilled to be here today at APEC, because this organization was founded to help achieve that very purpose. America stands as a proud member of the community of nations who make a home on the Pacific. We have been an active partner in this region since we first won independence ourselves.
In 1784, the first American ship sailed to China from the newly independent United States. It went loaded with goods to sell in Asia, and it came back full of porcelain and tea. Our first president, George Washington himself, owned a set of tableware from that ship.
In 1804, Thomas Jefferson sent the explorers, Lewis and Clark, on an expedition to our Pacific Coast. They were the first of the millions of Americans who ventured west to live out America’s manifest destiny across our vast continent.
In 1817, our Congress approved the first full-time Pacific development [deployment] of an American warship. That initial naval presence soon grew into a squadron, and then a fleet, to guarantee freedom of navigation for the growing number of ships, braving the high seas to reach markets in the Philippines, Singapore, and in India.
In 1818, we began our relationship with the Kingdom of Thailand, and 15 years later our two countries signed a treaty of friendship and commerce — our first with an Asian nation.
In the next century, when imperialist powers threatened this region, the United States pushed back at great cost to ourselves. We understood that security and prosperity depended on it.
We have been friends, partners, and allies in the Indo-Pacific for a long, long time, and we will be friends, partners, and allies for a long time to come.
As old friends in the region, no one has been more delighted than America to witness, to help, and to share in the extraordinary progress you have made over the last half-century.
What the countries and economies represented here today have built in this part of the world is nothing short of miraculous. The story of this region in recent decades is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future.
Few would have imagined just a generation ago that leaders of these nations would come together here in Da Nang to deepen our friendships, expand our partnerships, and celebrate the amazing achievements of our people.
This city was once home to an American military base, in a country where many Americans and Vietnamese lost their lives in a very bloody war.
Today, we are no longer enemies; we are friends. And this port city is bustling with ships from around the world. Engineering marvels, like the Dragon Bridge, welcome the millions who come to visit Da Nang’s stunning beaches, shining lights, and ancient charms.
In the early 1990s, nearly half of Vietnam survived on just a few dollars a day, and one in four did not have any electricity. Today, an opening Vietnamese economy is one of the fastest-growing economies on Earth. It has already increased more than 30 times over, and the Vietnamese students rank among the best students in the world. (Applause.) And that is very impressive.
This is the same story of incredible transformation that we have seen across the region. Indonesians for decades have been building domestic and democratic institutions to govern their vast chain of more than 13,000 islands. Since the 1990s, Indonesia’s people have lifted themselves from poverty to become one of the fastest-growing nations of the G20. Today, it is the third-largest democracy on Earth.
The Philippines has emerged as a proud nation of strong and devout families. For 11 consecutive years, the World Economic Forum has ranked the Philippines first among Asian countries in closing the gender gap and embracing women leaders in business and in politics. (Applause.)
Kingdom of Thailand has become an upper middle-income country in less than a generation. Its majestic capital of Bangkok is now the most visited city on Earth. And that is very impressive. Not too many people here are from Thailand. (Applause.)
Malaysia has rapidly developed through recent decades, and it is now ranked as one of the best places in the world to do business.
In Singapore, citizens born to parents who survived on $500 dollars a day [year] are now among the highest earners in the world — a transformation made possible by the vision of Lee Kwan Yew’s vision of honest governance and the rule of law. (Applause.) And his great son is now doing an amazing job.
As I recently observed in South Korea, the people of that Republic took a poor country ravaged by war, and in just a few decades turned it into one of the wealthiest democracies on Earth. Today, South Koreans enjoy higher incomes than the citizens of many European Union countries. It was great spending time with President Moon.
Everyone knows of China’s impressive achievements over the past several decades. During this period — and it was a period of great market reforms — large parts of China experienced rapid economic growth, jobs boomed, and more than 800 million citizens rose out of poverty. I just left China this morning and had a really productive meeting and a wonderful time with our gracious host, President Xi.
And, as I saw on my first stop of this trip, in Japan we see a dynamic democracy in a land of industrial, technological, and cultural wonders. In fewer than 60 years, that island nation has produced 24 Nobel Prize winners for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and the promotion of peace. (Applause.) President Abe and I agree on so much.
In the broader region, countries outside of APEC are also making great strides in this new chapter for the Indo-Pacific.
India is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its independence. It is a sovereign democracy, as well as — think of this — over 1 billion people. It’s the largest democracy in the world. (Applause.) Since India opened its economy, it has achieved astounding growth and a new world of opportunity for its expanding middle class. And Prime Minister Modi has been working to bring that vast country, and all of its people, together as one. And he is working at it very, very successfully, indeed.
As we can see, in more and more places throughout this region, citizens of sovereign and independent nations have taken greater control of their destinies and unlocked the potential of their people.
They’ve pursued visions of justice and accountability, promoted private property and the rule of law, and embraced systems that value hard work and individual enterprise.
They built businesses, they built cities, they built entire countries from the ground up. Many of you in this room have taken part in these great, uplifting national projects of building. They have been your projects from inception to completion, from dreams to reality.
With your help, this entire region has emerged — and it is still emerging — as a beautiful constellation of nations, each its own bright star, satellites to none — and each one, a people, a culture, a way of life, and a home.
Those of you who have lived through these transformations understand better than anyone the value of what you have achieved. You also understand that your home is your legacy, and you must always protect it.
In the process of your economic development, you’ve sought commerce and trade with other nations, and forged partnerships based on mutual respect and directed toward mutual gain.
Today, I am here to offer a renewed partnership with America to work together to strengthen the bonds of friendship and commerce between all of the nations of the Indo-Pacific, and together, to promote our prosperity and security.
At the core of this partnership, we seek robust trade relationships rooted in the principles of fairness and reciprocity. When the United States enters into a trading relationship with other countries or other peoples, we will, from now on, expect that our partners will faithfully follow the rules just like we do. We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides, and that private industry, not government planners, will direct investment.
Unfortunately, for too long and in too many places, the opposite has happened. For many years, the United States systematically opened our economy with few conditions. We lowered or ended tariffs, reduced trade barriers, and allowed foreign goods to flow freely into our country.
But while we lowered market barriers, other countries didn’t open their markets to us.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Funny. They must have been one of the beneficiaries. (Applause.) What country do you come from, sir?
Countries were embraced by the World Trade Organization, even if they did not abide by its stated principles. Simply put, we have not been treated fairly by the World Trade Organization. Organizations like the WTO can only function properly when all members follow the rules and respect the sovereign rights of every member. We cannot achieve open markets if we do not ensure fair market access. In the end, unfair trade undermines us all.
The United States promoted private enterprise, innovation, and industry. Other countries used government-run industrial planning and state-owned enterprises.
We adhered to WTO principles on protecting intellectual property and ensuring fair and equal market access. They engaged in product dumping, subsidized goods, currency manipulation, and predatory industrial policies.
They ignored the rules to gain advantage over those who followed the rules, causing enormous distortions in commerce and threatening the foundations of international trade itself.
Such practices, along with our collective failure to respond to them, hurt many people in our country and also in other countries. Jobs, factories, and industries were stripped out of the United States and out of many countries in addition. And many opportunities for mutually beneficial investments were lost because people could not trust the system.
We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses, and we will not tolerate them. Despite years of broken promises, we were told that someday soon everyone would behave fairly and responsibly. People in America and throughout the Indo-Pacific region have waited for that day to come. But it never has, and that is why I am here today — to speak frankly about our challenges and work toward a brighter future for all of us.
I recently had an excellent trip to China, where I spoke openly and directly with President Xi about China’s unfair trade practices and the enormous trade deficits they have produced with the United States. I expressed our strong desire to work with China to achieve a trading relationship that is conducted on a truly fair and equal basis.
The current trade imbalance is not acceptable. I do not blame China or any other country, of which there are many, for taking advantage of the United States on trade. If their representatives are able to get away with it, they are just doing their jobs. I wish previous administrations in my country saw what was happening and did something about it. They did not, but I will.
From this day forward, we will compete on a fair and equal basis. We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore. I am always going to put America first the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first. (Applause.)
The United States is prepared to work with each of the leaders in this room today to achieve mutually beneficial commerce that is in the interest of both your countries and mine. That is the message I am here to deliver.
I will make bilateral trade agreements with any Indo-Pacific nation that wants to be our partner and that will abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade. What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty, and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible.
Instead, we will deal on a basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit. We will respect your independence and your sovereignty. We want you to be strong, prosperous, and self-reliant, rooted in your history, and branching out toward the future. That is how we will thrive and grow together, in partnerships of real and lasting value.
But for this — and I call it the Indo-Pacific dream — if it’s going to be realized, we must ensure that all play by the rules, which they do not right now. Those who do will be our closest economic partners. Those who do not can be certain that the United States will no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating, or economic aggression. Those days are over.
We will no longer tolerate the audacious theft of intellectual property. We will confront the destructive practices of forcing businesses to surrender their technology to the state, and forcing them into joint ventures in exchange for market access.
We will address the massive subsidizing of industries through colossal state-owned enterprises that put private competitors out of business — happening all the time.
We will not remain silent as American companies are targeted by state-affiliated actors for economic gain, whether through cyberattacks, corporate espionage, or other anti-competitive practices. We will encourage all nations to speak out loudly when the principles of fairness and reciprocity are violated.
We know it is in America’s interests to have partners throughout this region that are thriving, prosperous, and dependent on no one. We will not make decisions for the purpose of power or patronage. We will never ask our partners to surrender their sovereignty, privacy, and intellectual property, or to limit contracts to state-owned suppliers.
We will find opportunities for our private sector to work with yours and to create jobs and wealth for us all. We seek strong partners, not weak partners. We seek strong neighbors, not weak neighbors. Above all, we seek friendship, and we don’t dream of domination.
For this reason, we are also refocusing our existing development efforts. We are calling on the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to direct their efforts toward high-quality infrastructure investment that promotes economic growth.
The United States will also do its part. We are also committed to reforming our development finance institutions so that they better incentivize private sector investment in your economies, and provide strong alternatives to state-directed initiatives that come with many strings attached.
The United States has been reminded time and time again in recent years that economic security is not merely related to national security. Economic security is national security. It is vital — (applause) — to our national strength.
We also know that we will not have lasting prosperity if we do not confront grave threats to security, sovereignty, and stability facing our world today.
Earlier this week, I addressed the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea and urged every responsible nation to stand united in declaring that every single step the North Korean regime takes toward more weapons is a step it takes into greater and greater danger. The future of this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator’s twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail.
In addition, we must uphold principles that have benefitted all of us, like respect for the rule of law — (applause) — individual rights, and freedom of navigation and overflight, including open shipping lanes. Three principles and these principles — (applause) — create stability and build trust, security, and prosperity among like-minded nations.
We must also deal decisively with other threats to our security and the future of our children, such as criminal cartels, human smuggling, drugs, corruption, cybercrime, and territorial expansion. As I have said many times before: All civilized people must come together to drive out terrorists and extremists from our societies, stripping them of funding, territory, and ideological support. We must stop radical Islamic terrorism.
So let us work together for a peaceful, prosperous, and free Indo-Pacific. I am confident that, together, every problem we have spoken about today can be solved and every challenge we face can be overcome.
If we succeed in this effort, if we seize the opportunities before us and ground our partnerships firmly in the interests of our own people, then together we will achieve everything we dream for our nations and for our children.
We will be blessed with a world of strong, sovereign, and independent nations, thriving in peace and commerce with others. They will be places where we can build our homes and where families, businesses, and people can flourish and grow.
If we do this, will we look at the globe half a century from now, and we will marvel at the beautiful constellation of nations — each different, each unique, and each shining brightly and proudly throughout this region of the world. And just as when we look at the stars in the night sky, the distance of time will make most of the challenges we have and that we spoke of today seem very, very small.
What will not seem small — what is not small — will be the big choices that all of our nations will have to make to keep their stars glowing very, very brightly.
In America, like every nation that has won and defended its sovereignty, we understand that we have nothing so precious as our birthright, our treasured independence, and our freedom.
That knowledge has guided us throughout American history. It has inspired us to sacrifice and innovate. And it is why today, hundreds of years after our victory in the American Revolution, we still remember the words of an American founder and our second President of the United States, John Adams. As an old man, just before his death, this great patriot was asked to offer his thoughts on the 50th anniversary of glorious American freedom. He replied with the words: independence forever.
It’s a sentiment that burns in the heart of every patriot and every nation. Our hosts here in Vietnam have known this sentiment not just for 200 years, but for nearly 2,000 years. (Applause.) It was around 40 AD when two Vietnamese sisters, the Trung Sisters, first awakened the spirit of the people of this land. It was then that, for the first time, the people of Vietnam stood for your independence and your pride.
Today, the patriots and heroes — (applause) — of our histories hold the answers to the great questions of our future and our time. They remind us of who we are and what we are called to do.
Together, we have it in our power to lift our people and our world to new heights — heights that have never been attained,
So let us choose a future of patriotism, prosperity, and pride. Let us choose wealth and freedom over poverty and servitude. Let us choose a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Finally, let us never forget the world has many places — (applause) — many dreams, and many roads. But in all of the world, there is no place like home.
so, for family, for country, for freedom, for history, and for the glory of God, protect your home, defend your home, and love your home today and for all time. (Applause.)
Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless the Pacific region. And God Bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)
1:51 P.M. ICT
November 12, 2017 Remarks by President Trump Before Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Phuc of Vietnam | Hanoi, Vietnam Office of Government Hanoi, Vietnam 11:33 A.M. ICT PRIME MINISTER PHÚC: (No translation provided.) PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister. I want to start by saying that the job done by Vietnam and your representatives, including yourself, the President, and everybody that I met — so many — is outstanding with respect to APEC. This was hosted so beautifully, so professionally. I got to tour parts of Vietnam, and it’s really looking well. It’s looking beautiful. And the people are happy, and the people are waving, and they like the United States; perhaps they like me. But they were really lined up in the streets by the tens of thousands, and we very much appreciate that. You are right — I believe this is the longest tour ever made by an American President of Asia. I’m now going for a day and a half to the Philippines, and then it will be back home to Washington and the United States. But we have really enjoyed ourselves in Vietnam, and we very much appreciate it.
Important to me is trade, because right now we have a very substantial trade imbalance with Vietnam — approximately $32 billion, which is a tremendous amount of money. And we have to take care of our American companies and we have to take care of American workers. And perhaps the administrations previous to me didn’t like the subject, understand the subject — something was wrong — because there are so many problems having to do with trade imbalance. So we want to get that straightened out very quickly. We would like you to buy your equipment from the United States. We make the best equipment, we make the best military gear and planes and anything you can name. The missiles are in a category that nobody even comes close. I told before, as you know, a missile was shot into Saudi Arabia recently, from Yemen. And one of our missile systems knocked it down. Nobody even knew what happened. And the missile exploded in air; knocked it down like nothing. We make the greatest missiles in the world, greatest planes in the world, greatest commercial aircraft in the world.
So we would like Vietnam to buy from us, and we have to get rid of the trade imbalance. We can’t have the trade imbalance. Other than that, I think we’re going to have a fantastic relationship, and I look forward to it for many years to come. Thank you.
11:39 A.M. ICT
November 12, 2017 Remarks by President Trump Before Bilateral Meeting with President Quang of Vietnam | Hanoi, Vietnam Presidential Palace Hanoi, Vietnam 9:14 A.M. ICT
PRESIDENT QUANG: (No translation provided.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. And I appreciate it. And I appreciate the incredible rollout that they’ve given to the United States — not just the President of the United States, but the United States as a whole.
We’ve had an incredible day in Vietnam. The APEC meeting started it out, and that was a tremendous success. And thank you very much for hosting it.
I want to just wish my best in condolences for the situation that you have with Damrey. That was tough. That was very, very tough. And I know you’re handling it well. And our best wishes and condolences.
We also want to thank you for helping us with the U.S. embassy site where we have a new embassy. And it will be something that, I think, will be very good for the future and the future of our two countries.
The North Korean situation continues to be a problem. I think that China — as you know, we saw — we were in China yesterday and the day before. And President Xi, I think, is going to be a tremendous help. I hope Russia, likewise, will be a tremendous help. I think they can make a big difference.
I know that South Korea and Japan are very much unified in the sense that they want to be able to take care of a problem that’s right next to them. Really, they’re neighbors. And I appreciate all of the good work you’re doing with regard to the North Korean problem.
South China Sea — as you know, we’re looking at — we’re looking at it together. If I could help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know. I know we’ve had a dispute for quite a while with China. If I can help in any way, I’m a very good mediator and a very good arbitrator. I have done plenty of it from both sides. So if I can help you, let me know.
Our defense ties are terrific. We’re doing a lot of business with you in terms of your purchasing of materials and also purchasing of very substantial military equipment. And we appreciate that. It’s jobs for America, and you get the best equipment in the world. Nobody makes it like we make it.
And I think that more than anything else, this will be a meeting of trade. We will be a great trade partner, and whether we’ll be treated fairly — past administrations didn’t understand trade and didn’t know too much about what was going on with trade. But we do. But we also know how to do a lot of trade. So I think it’s going to very, very good for Vietnam.
And, Mr. President, I just again want to thank you for being so respectful and nice to my entire delegation and to its President. And on behalf of the United States of America, we wish you very well and a great respect for what Vietnam has been able to accomplish and do in a very, very short period of time.
So I want to give you a personal congratulations. Thank you very much.
9:19 A.M. ICT
November 11, 2017 Remarks by President Trump and President Quang of Vietnam in Joint Press Conference | Hanoi, Vietnam Presidential Palace Hanoi, Vietnam 10:27 A.M. ICT PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) Your Excellency Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, ladies and gentlemen, members of the media: President Trump and I have had fruitful talks about the bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest. We both share the views that the bilateral relations have scored substantial results over the years, delivering enormous benefits to the people of both countries. During President Trump’s state visit to Vietnam, Vietnam and the United States issued a joint statement pledging to further deepen the Vietnam-United States Comprehensive Partnership on the basis of mutual respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political systems. Within the visit’s framework, the two sides reached important agreements on economy and trade. Addressing war legacy issues will receive higher priority, and we are committed to collaborate actively on this matter. Vietnam highly values the United States decision to cooperate with Vietnam on dioxin cleanup at Bien Hoa Air Base after the two countries successfully concluded the dioxin cleanup project at Da Nang Airport. The President and I discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest. We agreed to strengthen our close coordination at regional and international forums to contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region and the world at large. We also agreed on the importance of the ASEAN-United States strategic partnership. We believe that the development of Vietnam-U.S. relations would not only benefit each country, but also contribute to strengthening ASEAN-U.S. relations for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the Asia Pacific and the world. The President’s state visit to Vietnam marks a milestone in Vietnam-U.S. relations, creating strong momentum for the substantive, effective and stable development of the bilateral comprehensive partnership. I wish President Trump and members of the U.S. delegation a successful visit, and I hope that you will have good impressions of our country and our people. I sincerely thank Mr. President, personally, and the American people for the warm friendship towards our country and people, and I appreciate the great efforts to develop Vietnam-U.S. bilateral relations. I would also like to thank all American and Vietnamese reporters who are here today. Thank you very much. PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, President Quang. And thank you for your tremendous hospitality during my first visit to Vietnam. It is a pleasure to be with you right here in Hanoi. On behalf of the entire American delegation, I want to thank the Vietnamese people for their warm welcome, and to reaffirm the strong friendship and growing partnership between our two nations. Travelers from all around the world, including many Americans, come to Vietnam each year to admire your magnificent limestone mountains, cycle through your many winding hillsides, or swim in the majestic Ha Long Bay. Your nation’s magnificence brings different people together from around the world in shared appreciation of the great beauty and splendor of your wonderful country. Over the past two decades, our two nations have come together to find common purpose based on common interests. And that’s what’s happening. It is those crucial bonds we are here to reaffirm today. In May, the United States transferred the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau to the people and country of Vietnam. Named for U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr., this vessel once patrolled the coasts of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Today, the same American vessel, a gift between partners, is sailing the waters of the Pacific on its way to patrol these coasts for the people of Vietnam. This month we mark Veterans Day in the United States. And out of war and conflict, we have achieved a deep friendship, partnership, and we have achieved peace. Bound by mutual respect and common experience, our veterans laid the foundation for that achievement between our nations. Our decades-long joint humanitarian efforts with the Vietnamese people and government to account for and recover personnel still missing — so important to us — from the war honors these horrors of this horrendous war. We want our servicemembers support — and we give total support to the families, and we strengthen the foundation of our comprehensive partnership. That is so important to us. In the spirit of our friendship, I want to congratulate President Quang for hosting a very successful APEC Leaders Meeting this week in Da Nang. Congratulations. You did a fantastic job. Thank you. As I stated in my address to the APEC CEO Summit on Friday, the United States is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific, where strong, independent nations respect each other’s sovereignty, uphold the rule of law, and advance responsible commerce. We want our partners in the Indo-Pacific to be proud and self-reliant, not proxies or satellites. We look forward to achieving a bilateral trade agreement with partners who abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade — two very important words: fair and reciprocal. It hasn’t been that way for the United States almost at all. And we’re changing that, and we’re changing it rapidly. For trade to work, all countries must play by the rules. I am encouraged that Vietnam has recently become the fastest growing export market to the United States. Mr. President, I applaud your efforts to implement economic reforms and increase Vietnam’s trade and investment in all directions. The United States is enthusiastic about reforms that promote economic prosperity for all Vietnamese citizens, as we look to your growing middle class as a key market for American goods and services. We just had a great discussion about American goods and services coming in to Vietnam. Two-way street. I am confident that American energy, agriculture, financial services, aviation, digital commerce, and defense products are able to meet all of your many commercial needs — and, in fact, not only meet them, but what we do is better than anybody else. Moving forward, I welcome Vietnam’s commitment to eliminating trade barriers for U.S. agricultural products. It’s very important. We must ensure that American farmers and all American companies, especially those in digital services and e-commerce, can compete on a level playing field. And we look forward to working with you to combat predatory and unfair trade practices in the region. On security issues, we continue to work with our Vietnamese partners and with partners across the region on a range of challenges, including maritime security, counterterrorism, human and drug trafficking, cybercrime, and disease prevention. Later today, I will travel to the Philippines, where I will discuss many of these issues at the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit. The ASEAN Summit is going to be something, I think, very, very special. I look forward to attending. We will also discuss the growing threat from North Korea. As I said in my speech to the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly: All responsible nations must act now to ensure that North Korea’s rogue regime stops threatening the world with unthinkable loss of life. Safety and security are goals that should unite all civilized nations. We want progress, not provocation. I mean, we have been provoked; the world has been provoked. We don’t want that. We want stability, not chaos. And we want peace, not war. Mr. President, thank you for being such a gracious host during my time right here in Vietnam. I toured areas of Vietnam, and it is magnificent what’s happening. Over the past two decades, our nations have continued to grow closer in advancing our shared interests. The history of our two nations reveals the possibilities for peace and progress in our world. Moving forward as partners, we will achieve great prosperity and success for the American people and for the Vietnamese people. I thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.) Q (As interpreted.) President Trần Đại Quang, I’m from Vietnamese Agency. Can you elaborate of progress in the Vietnam-U.S. relations over the past few years? PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) Over the past years, the Vietnam-U.S. relations have made very strong progress in all areas — politics, diplomacy, economy, trade, science and technology, health, humanitarian areas, and people-to-people exchange. And, in particular, high-level contacts, meetings, and exchange of delegations on the basis of the comprehensive partnership have produced substantive and meaningful results. And, among them, the visit to the United States by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in May this year, and the state visit to Vietnam of Honorable President Donald Trump in the very first year of his term of office are the highlights. Meetings between leaders of Vietnam and the President during his visit are very useful, and the meetings give us the opportunity to understand each other better and to work together on areas of mutual interest. The substantive and effective growth of the comprehensive partnership between the two countries have been, and will be, delivering benefits to our two peoples and contributing to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation, and prosperity in the region and the world. Thank you. Q I’m from VTV and have another question for President Trần Đại Quang. Can you please provide your assessment of the future outlook of the Vietnam-U.S. relationship? PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) Thank you for your question. Well, during the talks that I had with the President, we acknowledged that there is still much room for further expansion of the bilateral relations, and we discussed ways and means to further strengthen the cooperation in a more substantive and effective manner in the time to come. And the two sides also pledged to increase contacts and dialogues, especially the high-level meetings through bilateral visits and meetings at the sidelines of the regional and international forums. The two sides will also promote the momentum for development of the economic and trade investment relations on the basis of mutual interest, minimize the trade investment disputes, and will continue to effectively implement the economic and trade agreements that we have signed. We’ll also strengthen cooperation in science and technology, environment, climate change, humanitarian issues, human resources development, and expanding people-to-people exchange — for the enhanced comprehensive partnership, the interest of the two peoples and for the benefit of peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world. Thank you. Q Thank you, Mr. President. And if I could throw a little bit of a change up here, I’ll ask both leaders a question as opposed to just one. Mr. President, to you, if we could first. On the way here to Hanoi, from Da Nang, you talked about your meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday in which you said you received further assurances from him that he did not meddle in the U.S. election. PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s true. Q There was some uncertainty that brewed back in the United States over your statement that you said, “When he tells me that, I believe that he means it.” That was taken in some circles, including Senator John McCain, to think that you believe that he is saying he did not interfere in the election. Could you, once and for all, definitively, sir — yes or no — say whether or not you believe that President Putin and/or Russia interfered in the election? PRESIDENT TRUMP: What I said there, I’m surprised that there’s any conflict on this. What I said there is that I believe he believes that, and that’s very important for somebody to believe. I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. I believe in our intel agencies, our intelligence agencies. I’ve worked with them very strongly. There weren’t seventeen as was previously reported; there were actually four. But they were saying there was seventeen; there were actually four. But as currently led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies. Now, at the same time, I want to be able — because I think it’s very important — to get along with Russia, to get along with China, to get along with Vietnam, to get along with lots of countries, because we have a lot of things we have to solve. And, frankly, Russia and China in particular can help us with the North Korea problem, which is one of our truly great problems. So I’m not looking to stand and start arguing with somebody when there’s reporters all around and cameras recording and seeing our conversation. I think it was very obvious to everybody. I believe that President Putin really feels — and he feels strongly — that he did not meddle in our election. What he believes is what he believes. What I believe is that we have to get to work. And I think everybody understood this that heard the answer. We have to get to work to solve Syria, to solve North Korea, to solve Ukraine, to solve terrorism. And, you know, people don’t realize Russia has been very, very heavily sanctioned. They were sanctioned at a very high level, and that took place very recently. It’s now time to get back to healing a world that is shattered and broken. Those are very important things. And I feel that having Russia in a friendly posture, as opposed to always fighting with them, is an asset to the world and an asset to our country, not a liability. And, by the way, Hillary Clinton had the reset button. She wanted to get back together with Russia. She even spelled “reset” wrong. That’s how it started, and then it got worse. President Obama wanted to get along with Russia, but the chemistry wasn’t there. Getting along with other nations is a good thing, not a bad thing — believe me. It’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Okay, second. Q President Quang, if I could ask a question of you. There are some people who believe that Vietnam could make an effective facilitator in bringing the United States and North Korea together to at least lay the groundwork, potentially, for negotiations. What do you believe Vietnam could bring to the table in that regard? PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) On North Korea issue, Vietnam is committed to seriously observing all the relevant resolution at the UNSC, and we support the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. And we’ll do our utmost and do whatever we can to contribute to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Thank you. Q You tweeted this morning about trying very hard to be friends with Kim Jong-un. Is that really a possibility? What would it take for that to happen at this point? And for President Quang, could you comment on the President’s offer to mediate the South China Sea dispute? Thank you. PRESIDENT TRUMP: Steve, I think anything is a possibility. Strange things happen in life. That might be a strange thing to happen, but it’s certainly a possibility. If that did happen, it would be a good thing for — I can tell you — for North Korea. But it would also be good for lots of other places, and it would be good for the world. So, certainly, it is something that could happen. I don’t know that it will, but it would be very, very nice if it did. PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) With regard to the South China Sea issue, I have shared my thoughts with President Donald Trump on the recent developments in this area. And it is our policy to settle disputes in the South China Sea through peaceful negotiations, and with respect for diplomatic and legal process, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea. Thank you very much.