Trade and human rights in Vietnam

May 14, 2015
Blog Post

I wanted to share a new op-ed I wrote with my colleague Chris Smith (R – N.J.) outlining our requirements for including Vietnam in the multi-national free trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

As many of you know, San Jose has a strong and vibrant Vietnamese-American community. I frequently hear from my constituents who are concerned with the lack of human rights and basic democratic principles in Vietnam. I've heard many times from friends and family members of Vietnamese citizens who have been wrongfully imprisoned in Vietnam because they spoke out for better working conditions, or simply the right to freely exercise their religion.

When I traveled to Vietnam earlier this year I passed their message along: that political rights, religious freedoms, and human dignity should not be suppressed.

That's why, as TPP negotiations continue, I've made it a top priority of mine to fight for enforceable and binding provisions to meet International Labor Organization standards and to improve human rights and Internet freedom in Vietnam.

I've made it clear to the President and leadership in Congress that they must support these measures if the United States truly wishes to promote human rights, transparency, openness and freedom around the world.

I hope you take the time to read this op-ed today, and share it with others in the community who care about improving freedom, openness and human rights around the world. 

Sincerely,

Zoe Lofgren
Member of Congress