Provided by Jean Libby
Free Vietnam

U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren

16th Congressional District, California

For Immediate Release: CONTACT: Duncan Neasham

April 27, 2012

202-225-3072, duncan.neasham@mail.house.gov

Rep. Zoe Lofgren introduces FREE Vietnam Act
Bill Ties Coveted U.S. Trade Preferences to Vietnam Curbing Human Rights Abuses

Washington, DC – 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).

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is serving her ninth term in Congress representing most of the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County. Congresswoman Lofgren is Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation consisting of 34 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives from California