Congressman Lowenthal Statement On TPP Trade Agreement
Congressman Alan Lowenthal today released the following statement regarding the announcement that the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations reached an agreement Monday on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal:
"There is no doubt that the TPP agreement reached today is historic. What remains to be seen is whether it is historic for the right reasons. Over the next 90 days, I, along with my colleagues in Congress, will have the chance to review the details of the deal before we must vote on it.
"I plan to take this time to scrutinize the agreement thoroughly, especially in several areas I feel the deal must forcefully address.
"I continue to have concerns about the human rights violations by some of the proposed partner countries. I have made it clear to the administration that we should not reward bad behavior by allowing a major human rights violator like Vietnam to benefit from trade agreements without first demonstrating a profound shift toward respecting the rights of its own citizens. It is disappointing that Vietnam continues to be a part of the agreement while failing to make substantive progress on improving its abysmal human rights record.
"Unless provisions in earlier drafts regarding labor and environmental protections are strengthened, I will also continue to have concerns on these issues. The rights of workers, including the right to form independent trade unions, must be protected under this agreement."I now look forward to reviewing the full agreement in detail to determine if the terms really do benefit American workers and promote fair trade across the Pacific Rim."