Lawmakers get Obama's personal commitment to press Vietnam on human rights

“According to independent groups and advocates, Vietnam’s deplorable human rights record has only gotten worse in the past few years. The United States can play an important role by making it clear that the future of good relations with our country goes hand in hand with Vietnam affording its citizens their basic rights.”

Davis added that the United States must send a “strong and clear message that human rights abuses in Vietnam need to end immediately” as both nations participate in negotiations around a regional Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

“Trade must not come at the expense of human rights,” Davis said. 

Lofgren is the author of legislation that would bar Vietnam from enjoying special U.S. trade preferences until it takes measures to curb human rights abuses. Davis and Lowenthal have signed on to the bill.

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