Ford Motor Co. is supporting legislation just introduced in Congress that would provide Vietnam with permanent normal trade relations.

The bill – sponsored by Reps. Rim Ramstad, R-MN, and Mike Thompson, D-CA, and Sens. Max Baucus, D-MT, and Gordon Smith, R-OR – would complete the normalization of economic relations between the U.S. and Vietnam, Ford says.

“This legislation is the last critical piece of a decade-long process to bring Vietnam into the global economy,” says Steve Biegun, vice president-international government affairs, praising the U.S. and Vietnam governments for their work in completing the negotiation to admit Vietnam into the World Trade Organization. Vietnam is expected to be approved for entry into the WTO within the next several weeks.

“Ford Motor Co. commends the U.S. government for the thorough and far-reaching agreement that was achieved, and as a major investor in Vietnam, we are very encouraged by the Vietnamese government’s willingness to make the difficult reforms necessary to complete this process.”

Ford, which has operated an assembly plant in Vietnam since 1995, is one of the largest U.S. investors in the country.