Vietnam and U.S. preparing to sign trade agreement

Vietnam and the United States are preparing to sign a trade agreement in early June, Vietnam's trade minister said Monday. The deal would pave the way for the communist country to join the World Trade Organization.

The two countries reached an agreement in principle after four days of negotiations in Washington earlier this month.

Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen said U.S. Trade Representative-designate Susan Schwab is expected to attend a meeting of trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Ho Chi Minh City on June 1-2, and that Vietnam and the United States were expected to sign their agreement at that time.

"The two sides are very actively preparing to sign the agreement on that occasion," Tuyen said at a news conference, reports the AP.