It's now official — Vietnam notified the World Trade Organization December 12 that it had ratified its WTO membership agreement and will be joining as the 150th member on January 11. With its accession to the WTO, Vietnam takes on extensive commitments to open its markets in goods and services. On December 9, 2006, the U.S. Senate passed legislation providing for Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Vietnam. In commenting on the vote, Susan Schwab, the U.S. Trade Representative, said in a statement:
With this strong bipartisan vote, U.S. exporters and service providers will gain significant new opportunities in one of the fastest growing markets in the world as Vietnam integrates into the global, rules-based trading system. The vote also demonstrates to our trading partners in East Asia, the United States ' commitment to strengthen and deepen our relationships in that region.