Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) today introduced the bipartisan Fostering Rights through Economic Engagement in Vietnam ("FREE Vietnam") Act barring Vietnam from enjoying special U.S. trade preferences until the country takes serious measures to curb human rights abuses.
Despite consistent pressure from Congress and human rights organizations, the Vietnamese government continues to violate its international human rights obligations and it very own constitution. The FREE Vietnam Act prohibits Vietnam from participating in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program as long as it continues to engage in repressive behavior, denying basic human freedoms to individuals in Vietnam.
"We need to put Vietnam on notice that it cannot continue to violate human rights and expect preferred trade relations with the United States," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren. "The FREE Vietnam Act gives us the tools we need to not only send the right message to Vietnam, but also to take action against Vietnam for their continuous human rights violations."
As introduced, the bill's original co-sponsors include Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Susan Davis (D-CA) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA).