President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a trade deal with Vietnam valued at more than $20 billion, with several of the country’s airlines agreeing to buy Boeing jets and technology from the U.S.
VietJet is buying 100 Boeing 737-Max jets and 215 GE/CFM joint venture engines, and Bamboo Airways is buying 10 Boeing 787-9 jets. In addition, Vietnam Airlines is buying $100 million in services and technology from Sabre Corp.
Trump, who is in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, to meet with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, praised the trade agreements before signing them.
“We are going to be signing some very big trade deals,” Trump said at the top of a bilateral meeting with President Nguyen Phu Trong of Vietnam, adding that Vietnam was going to be “buying a lot of different products from the United States … which we appreciate,” according to a report from the press pool there.
Bamboo Airways is looking to open routes to the United States, which would be the first time Vietnamese carriers could fly and codeshare with U.S. airlines, Yahoo Finance reported. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration earlier this month declared Vietnam in compliance with international aviation standards.
Kevin McAllister, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Allen Paxson, vice president and general manager of the CFM Program at GE Aviation, were present for the signing
“We appreciate very much that you’re reducing the trade deficit with the United States, which was very substantial before I got here, and now where we’re bringing it down with great orders like the orders that you made today,” Trump said.
Vietnam ran a trade surplus of $34.8 billion with the United States last year, widening from a surplus of $32.2 billion a year earlier, according to Vietnamese customs data. (Reporting by Khanh Vu and Jeff Mason in HANOI. Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in HANOI; Editing by Lincoln Feast)