U.S.-Vietnam Relations: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated January 3, 2007] [open pdf - 262KB]
From the Summary: "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 has been virtually normalized. Congress played a significant role in this process, which has been controversial. Some argue that improvements in bilateral relations should be conditioned upon Vietnam's authoritarian government improving its record on human rights, particularly in the Central Highlands region. Voices favoring improved relations have included those reflecting U.S. business interests in Vietnam's reforming economy and U.S. strategic interests in expanding cooperation with a populous country - Vietnam has around 85 million people - that has an ambivalent relationship with China."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33316