President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE wrote a letter to Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang last month promoting increased cooperation between their two countries, according to a statement posted on the Vietnamese government's website Friday.
"In his letter dated on February 23, President Donald Trump affirmed his wish to boost cooperation with Vietnam and work with the regional countries to ensure peace and prosperity in Asia-Pacific on the basis of international law," the statement says.
News of the letter came as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, who also served under the Obama administration, met with Quang on Friday.
Relations between the U.S. and Vietnam strengthened under former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Obama backs Trudeau in Canadian election MORE in response to a dispute with China in the South China Sea. Vietnam would have also been a key beneficiary of Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
Trump withdrew the United States' intent to ratify the treaty almost immediately after taking office in January. The president has frequently ripped multilateral trade agreements, arguing instead for a series of bilateral deals.
Quang was reportedly receptive to Trump's call to bolster bilateral relations between the U.S. and Vietnam.
"State President Quang highly valued President Donald Trump’s position as it would help boost the bilateral ties and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region," the statement reads.