(CNSNews.com) - After thanking Vietnam's prime minister for his warm welcome by "happy" people waving in the streets "by the tens of thousands," President Donald Trump turned to the issue of trade.
He urged Vietnam to "buy your equipment," including "military gear" and missiles, from the United States:
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.
As one of his first orders of business, President Trump on Jan. 23 signed a memorandum removing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multinational deal signed by President Barack Obama that sought to create a “free-trade zone” with eleven other nations, including Vietnam. As CNSNews.com reported, the deal expressly legitimized the state ownership of businesses, which is a major part of Vietnam's socialist economy.