US wants to extend ‘friend-shoring’ to emerging economies, says Yellen

The United States is keen to include emerging economies like Vietnam in its privileged trade exchanges, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Friday during a visit to the Southeast Asian country.

“Friend-shoring” is not reserved for long-time allies, Ms. Yellen said in substance in a speech in Hanoi, in reference to the philosophy defended by Washington which consists in favoring exchanges between close countries or allies.

The global economy has been rocked in recent years by supply chain disruptions and major Western powers are looking to diversify their partners to become less dependent on China and Russia, seen as potential systemic rivals.

“As we undertake these supply chain efforts, let me be very clear: friend-shoring is not reserved for an exclusive country club,” the US official said.

“It is open. It includes advanced economies, emerging markets and developing countries,” she explained.

Ms Yellen was speaking on the second day of a visit to the communist country, where she met senior political and business leaders.

The United States and Vietnam, where many manufacturing giants are established, maintain increasingly close commercial ties and take a dim view of China’s growing ambitions in the region.

“The United States strives to strengthen, not weaken, its ties with the emerging and developing world, as our partnership with Vietnam demonstrates,” Ms. Yellen said in her speech.

Washington is multiplying gestures of rapprochement with Vietnam, as evidenced by the visit of Vice-President Kamala Harris and that of the head of diplomacy Antony Blinken over the past two years.

President Joe Biden recently had telephone talks with the leader of the Vietnamese Communist Party and the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan called at the port of Danang last month.

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