Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Congress grants Viet Nam PNTR status

US Congress approved “permanent normal trade relations” status with Viet Nam on December 9th, according to the AFP. The vote, which occurred on the previous night, was originally intended to coincide with President Bush’s recent visit to Viet Nam. However, prior to the President’s trip it did not receive the two-thirds majority that was needed for passage.

The bill was condemned by some lawmakers who professed that Viet Nam’s human rights abuses should not be fiscally rewarded. In response, Republican Representative from California, David Dreier stated “PNTR will not be a panacea for instantaneous eradication of the challenges of human rights violations.”

While US law prohibits most communist or ex-communist countries from obtaining PNTR status, it typically revokes this clause once a country joins the WTO, which Viet Nam will do in early 2007.

Viet Nam is not the only body that will benefit from PNTR designation. The bill is seen as an early Christmas present to the many American companies that will benefit from enhanced trade between the two nations.

For the full article, click here.


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