Yellen: U.S. Wants ‘friend-shoring’ to Include Emerging Economies

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sits on a scooter while visiting a factory assembling electric scooters in Hanoi, Vietnam on Thursday.

HANOI (AFP-Jiji) — The United States wants to include emerging economies such as Vietnam in efforts to strengthen and diversify supply chains, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Friday.

The United States and other major economies are pushing to make themselves less reliant on the likes of China and Russia for key commodities and components after supply chain shocks rocked the global economy in recent years.

In a speech in Hanoi, Yellen said “friend-shoring” — deepening economic ties with trusted partners — was not restricted to long-established allies.

“As we undertake these supply chain efforts, let me be very clear: friend-shoring is not for an exclusive club of countries,” Yellen said. “It is open. It is inclusive of advanced economies, emerging markets and developing countries alike.”

Yellen was speaking on the second day of a visit to Vietnam, where she has met political and business leaders.

The U.S. and Vietnam — a key manufacturing hub — have increasingly close trade ties, and share concerns about China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

In her speech, Yellen said, “The United States is working to strengthen — not to weaken — our ties with the emerging and developing world, as demonstrated by our partnership with Vietnam.”

Washington has made a concerted diplomatic push to woo the communist Southeast Asian nation in the last two years, with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken both making official visits. President Joe Biden held phone talks with the head of the Vietnamese Communist Party earlier this year.