Full Title: U.S.-Vietnam Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress
Author(s): Mary Beth D. Nikitin, Mark Holt, and Mark E. Manyin
Publisher(s): Congressional Research Service
Publication Date: 8/2014
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U.S.-Vietnamese cooperation on nuclear energy and nonproliferation has grown in recent years along with closer bilateral economic, military, and diplomatic ties. In 2010, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding that Obama Administration officials said would be a “stepping stone” to a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement. This agreement was signed by the two countries on May 6, 2014, and transmitted to Congress for review on May 8. At least four issues have been debated during the congressional review period for this agreement: (1) whether the agreement should have included stronger nonproliferation commitments such as a legally-binding commitment by Vietnam not to build uranium enrichment and reprocessing facilities; (2) the extent to which Vietnam’s human rights record should affect the decision to enter into a nuclear energy agreement; (3) the weight that should be given to the growing strategic relationship between the United States and Vietnam; and (4) the extent to which U.S. companies would benefit from an agreement.