U.S.-Vietnam Relations: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated June 14, 2006] [open pdf - 200KB]
"After communist North Vietnam's victory over U.S.-backed South Vietnam in 1975, U.S.-Vietnam relations remained essentially frozen for over 15 years. Since then, bilateral ties have expanded remarkably, to the point where the relationship in many ways has been virtually normalized. Congress has played a significant role in this process. Each step in improving bilateral ties has brought controversy, albeit at diminishing levels. Some argue that improvements in bilateral relations should be conditioned upon Hanoi improving its record on human and religious rights, particularly in the Central Highlands region. Opposition to the pace and scope of normalization also has come from groups arguing that Vietnam has not done enough to account for U.S. Prisoners of War/Missing in Action from the Vietnam War, though this argument has diminished markedly in recent years. Interests favoring normalization have included those reflecting a strong U.S. business interest in Vietnam's reforming economy and American strategic interests in integrating Vietnam more fully into East Asia and in expanding cooperation with a country that has an ambivalent relationship with China."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33316