[Congressional Record: July 23, 2002 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DISAPPROVAL OF NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS TREATMENT TO PRODUCTS OF VIETNAM
Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the previous order of the House,
I call up the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 101) disapproving the
extension of the waiver authority contained in section 402(c) of the
Trade Act of 1974 with respect to Vietnam, and ask for its immediate
The Clerk read the title of the joint resolution.
The text of H.J. Res. 101 is as follows:
H. J. Res. 101
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, That the
Congress does not approve the extension of the authority
contained in section 402(c) of the Trade Act of 1974
recommended by the President to the Congress on June 3, 2002,
with respect to Vietnam.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Jeff Miller of Florida). Pursuant to the
order of the House of Monday, July 22, 2002, the gentleman of
California (Mr. Thomas) and a Member in support of the joint resolution
each will control 30 minutes.
Is there a Member in support of the joint resolution?
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, I claim the time in support of the joint
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from New York (Mr. McNulty)
will control 30 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California (Mr. Thomas).
Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to yield one half of
my time to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin), the ranking member
of the Subcommittee on Trade on the Committee on Ways and Means and
that he be permitted to yield that time as he sees fit.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the
gentleman from California?
There was no objection.
Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to House Joint Resolution 101, a
resolution to disapprove the Jackson-Vanik waiver for Vietnam.
Mr. Speaker, I yield the remainder of my time to the gentleman from
Illinois (Mr. Crane), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade and ask
unanimous consent that he be allowed to control the time.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the
gentleman from California?
There was no objection.
Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that half my time
be yielded to the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) and that
he be permitted to allocate that time as he sees fit and that, further,
I be permitted to yield the time that I have remaining.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the
gentleman from New York?
There was no objection.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, we discuss this resolution every year and my position
has not changed. I do not oppose eventual normalization of trade
relations with Vietnam. We have done that with all of our former
enemies. I oppose doing it at this time, Mr. Speaker, for very
practical reasons. The latest report from the Department of Defense MIA
office is that we have found the wreckage of two more United Nations
military planes; a C-130 with nine on board and an A-6 with two aboard.
And pending examination of those remains, we have the prospect of the
return of 11 more American soldiers who have been missing in action in
Vietnam for literally decades. And when did we get that news about
those findings? July 2 in the year 2002. Three weeks ago!
I ask the question again: Can we not wait until we get as full an
accounting as possible of our missing in action in Vietnam before we
proceed further with this trade relationship? Where are our priorities?
And I do get emotional about this. There is an anniversary coming up
on August 9. August 9, 1970, my brother, H.M.3 William F. McNulty, a
medic in the Navy, transferred to the Marine Corps, was out in the
field in Quang Nam province patching up his buddies. He stepped on a
land mine and he lost his life. But his body was recovered. And he was
brought back home, and we had a wake and a funeral and a burial. Our
family suffered a tremendous loss, but we had some closure.
I have always wondered how terrible it must be for an MIA family,
never exactly knowing what happened to their loved one--not for a day,
a week, a month or a year, but for decades. And so, Mr. Speaker, until
we get as complete an accounting as possible of all of those who are
missing in action from the Vietnam War, I will continue to support this
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. CRANE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.J. Res. 101 and in
support of extending Vietnam's Jackson-Vanik waiver. Failure to extend
the waiver so soon after the U.S. Vietnam bilateral trade agreement
entered in, of course, would send terribly mixed diplomatic signals and
would undermine the economic and political reforms now gaining momentum
The completion of the BTA was a significant accomplishment and
December 10, 2001, may very well be the most important date in U.S.-
Vietnam relations since the end of the Vietnam War. The agreement is
the most comprehensive trade agreement ever signed by Vietnam and
contains provisions on market access in goods, trade in services,
intellectual property protection, and investment.
Because the BTA is now in force, the Jackson-Vanik waiver provides
U.S. firms with greater access to the Vietnamese market of over 80
million people, the 14th most populous country in the world. Over the
first 4 months of 2002, two-way trade between the United States and
Vietnam was up over 60 percent from the same period last year. The
Jackson-Vanik waiver also enables U.S. exporters doing business in
Vietnam to have access to U.S. trade financing programs, provided that
Vietnam meet the relevant program criteria.
I visited Vietnam last year and saw firsthand the enormous potential
that Vietnam offers. Over half of the population is under the age of 25
and the literacy rate is over 90 percent. The Vietnamese people have a
solid work ethic, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a strong commitment to
education. Continued engagement between the United States and
Vietnamese Governments and its peoples will help this potential
On emigration, the central issue for the Jackson-Vanik waiver, more
than 500,000 Vietnamese citizens have entered the United States under
the Orderly Departure program. And as a result of steps taken by
Vietnam to streamline its emigration process, only a small number of
refugee applicants remain to be processed under both the Orderly
Departure and the Resettlement for Vietnamese Returnees programs.
Extending Vietnam's waiver will give reformers within the Vietnamese
government much-needed support to continue within economic and
political reforms. I ask my colleagues not to take away the best
vehicle for the United States to continue to pressure the Vietnamese
for progress on issues of importance to us. Therefore, I urge a ``no''
vote on H.J. Res. 101.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to oppose this resolution. The waiver that
is the subject of the resolution issued today is a continuation in the
process of engaging with Vietnam and pressuring it. The waiver this
year will continue the availability of export-related financing from
OPIC, Ex-Im Bank, and the Department of Agriculture, financing that is
important to American businesses, their workers and farmers seeking to
export and to do business in Vietnam.
In addition, expanding upon prior years' Jackson-Vanik waivers, this
waiver will continue normal trade relation status for Vietnam.
Vietnam sparks deep emotions, and very understandably. Our
relationship with Vietnam is a complicated one. The war left deep and
enduring impacts on both nations and surely on ours. Although for many
years we pursued a policy of isolation of Vietnam, we have been
following in recent years a path of engagement and pressuring. As
mentioned, in 1994 we lifted the trade embargo. In 1995 we opened a
U.S. embassy. In 1998 the President first waived the Jackson-Vanik
prohibitions. Last year, as mentioned, Congress approved the U.S.
Vietnam bilateral trade agreement. That agreement has been successful
in some important respects, increasing trade both imports and exports.
Notably the government of Vietnam has continued to cooperate in
helping to locate U.S. servicemen and women missing in Vietnam. Just
last year, nine Vietnamese citizens died helping in the search for U.S.
POWs and MIAs. Our continuing engagement with Vietnam has been critical
in helping to secure Vietnam's assistance with these efforts.
And as also mentioned, there has been further improvement in terms of
emigration. Unfortunately, the Government of Vietnam has not made
similar movements to improve its human rights record. The most recent
State Department human rights report indicates Vietnam's already poor
human rights record has gone downward. Additionally, Vietnam still has
to make major progress in respecting and enforcing core internationally
recognized labor rights.
The Memorandum of Understanding that was signed during the Clinton
administration has been implemented to some extent, but there is still
a long way to go. Vietnam continues to deny its workers, as mentioned,
the fundamental right to associate freely. And the recent State
Department report indicates that child labor and prison
labor continue to be wide spread in Vietnam.
Last year, when we approved the bilateral trade agreement with
Vietnam, I stated that we would watch closely eventual negotiations of
the textile and apparel agreement, and that any such agreement must
include labor provisions similar to the positive incentives included in
the Cambodia agreement.
Negotiations on this agreement have begun, but there still is no firm
commitment by the administration, our administration, to include
positive incentive labor provisions, and though this issue is not yet
ripe, while we vote today, I want to convey to the administration and
to the government of Vietnam that if the core labor standards issue is
ignored in the textile and apparel agreement, it will have serious
repercussions for future Jackson-Vanik and NTR waivers.
Last week, I expressed this to the distinguished ambassador from
Vietnam. So here we have another resolution. The vast majority of us
voted against it last year. There is no reason to change our position
this year. To do so would hurt our relations with Vietnam. It would
hurt our efforts to fully account for U.S. POWs and MIAs, an important
issue indeed, and I think it would undercut important reform efforts in
I think on balance the best procedure, the best approach is to
continue what we started some years ago, continuing to vote to engage
and pressure Vietnam, and therefore, I encourage my colleagues to
oppose this resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time I may consume.
After hearing the gentleman from Michigan's (Mr. Levin) description
of how human rights has not been improved and how things are still just
as repressive, it seems to me that he has just provided enough
arguments for us to say why are we doing the same old policy if it is
not working and the Vietnamese, that the Vietnamese Communist have just
signed another agreement, as my friend, the gentleman from Illinois
(Mr. Crane) has just said, big deal, they have signed agreements for 20
years and broken all of them. This is no reason we should continue down
a path that has kept the Vietnamese people in chains and in slavery and
in abject poverty.
During the last 12 months, despite the Presidential waiver that we
are debating today, the Communist regime has actually increased its
brutal repression as the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin) suggested
in his comments. Religious clergy, advocates of democracy, ethnic
tribal leaders and members of the tribes in the central highlands,
these are the people who were the most loyal to American forces during
the war. All have been victimized, and the victimization continues at a
By voting yes on H.J. Res. 101, thus denying normal trade relations
for Vietnam, we send a message to the gang of thugs that rule Vietnam
that they must once and for all not just make agreements but start some
real political reform. Let us see something happening rather than just
talk before we normalize relations with them. Only this will allow the
Vietnamese people to enjoy some prosperity, some peace and some
liberty, but they have been denied this by the regime that holds them
in its grip.
The sad truth is that there will be no democracy, no human rights and
none of these other things that we hold dear in the United States, no
prosperity, no freedom for these people in Vietnam unless their own
government starts to reform, and it has not done so under the rules
that we have been playing with. We have been treating them as we treat
free governments, which is insane.
Hanoi has recently, in fact, initiated a new campaign of censorship.
They have even outlawed the watching of satellite TV. Give me a break,
and we are going to treat them like we do democratic societies? The
primary cause for the fact that their country is making any headway
economically is their lack of democracy and freedom and the fact that
it is a Communist dictatorship that we are talking about. If we wish
Vietnam to succeed, we have got to do more than just wink and nod when
they make another agreement, yet they will then violate again and
What we are talking about today, by the way, is not whether or not we
should engage with Vietnam. It is not whether we should isolate
Vietnam. It is one thing and one thing only, and that is, whether or
not those businessmen who are free already to sell their products or to
build their factories, whether or not those businessmen for the United
States will be subsidized by the American taxpayer in building
factories, manufacturing units in Vietnam in order to exploit their
slave labor, their labor that is not permitted to join a union, is not
permitted to quit their jobs.
This is what this debate is all about. The debate is not about
whether we can sell our products. American businessmen can sell the
products and will continue to or can build factories at their own risk,
but is whether, as the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin) calls it,
financing will be available. What we are talking about is financing
that is subsidized by the American taxpayer through international and
national financial institutions like the Export-Import Bank.
There is no reason whatsoever we should be financing the building of
factories, even in democratic societies overseas, but for countries
like Communist China, Vietnam, this is a sin not only against their
people because we are permitting a few people here to exploit their
labor, but it is a sin against our people because we are putting them
out of work. So let us not ignore the central issue today.
Two central issues, freedom in Vietnam and subsidies for American
businessmen to build factories and put our own people out of work, and
let us not ignore that. We will see if that even comes up on the other
side during the debate. While extending these subsidies has not made
Vietnam any freer in these last few years, it has not been going in the
right direction. If it had been, we would be able to report all of this
Instead, what we see are American businessmen that are leaving
Vietnam. These are the guys who do not have the subsidies because of
the level of corruption and repression that goes along with a Communist
dictatorship. In that country, trade data, for example, remains a State
secret. Journalists and public officials continue to be jailed on
charges of treason for merely discussing trade and economic issues. In
fact, the Communist regime has imprisoned business executives locally
and of several major and private corporations simply for criticizing
the government or when their company has been too successful outside of
the corrupt system.
I urge my colleagues to stand up for American values and
international freedom by voting yes on H.J. Res. 101. Why subsidize the
building of factories in Communist Vietnam, costing jobs at home and
putting our people out of work to help a Communist regime.
This globalist dream is not just a nightmare for America. It
demoralizes those around the world who believe in liberty and justice
and see America as their only hope.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. CRANE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New
York (Mr. Houghton).
Mr. HOUGHTON. Mr. Speaker, there are just a couple of comments I
This all is very confusing, sort of a double or triple negative, do
we oppose an opposition? Actually, I oppose the disapproval of the
extension of the waiver, which means we will continue our relationships
I can identify with the gentleman from New York (Mr. McNulty) and I
am terribly sorry about the situation with his brother, but there are
others of us who had members of our family in not only that war, but
other wars have had the same situation, and I understand what the
gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) is saying, but the same
arguments could be used with Russia.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. HOUGHTON. I yield to the gentleman from New York.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, I think the gentleman is incorrect. I do
think we have the same situation because in prior wars a period of time
went by after the last possible remains removeable realistically
recoverable were found. We did not have the situation where we were
being blocked from going to certain areas of the country to search for
remains. We did not have a situation where three weeks prior to voting
on normalizing relations, we found new American remains. I do not think
the situation is the same at all.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Mr. Speaker, I understand what the gentleman is saying,
but there are others of us who have been in others wars and have other
members of our families and there are still situations there which are
still to be clarified.
All I was saying is that I identify with the gentleman, and I am
sorry about that situation because I know how meaningful it is to him
and how poignant those memories are, but others of us have those same
type of things.
The only thing I am saying is that, very briefly, that if we are
going to look forward rather than back, we must relate to other people
in this world, including our former enemies, and I think it is high
time that we kept those relations going, and therefore, I would
strongly oppose the disapproval in H.J. Res. 101.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from
California (Ms. Sanchez).
Ms. SANCHEZ. Mr. Speaker, today I rise as a strong supporter and as a
cosponsor of House Joint Resolution 101, which disapproves the
extension of the Jackson-Vanik waiver authority for Vietnam. We have
already heard a couple of comments about human rights issues and how in
Vietnam they have not improved, and that is true. We have also heard
about our missing in action and the fact that we have had more problems
recently in trying to get facts and remains out of Vietnam.
This discussion today about the Jackson-Vanik waiver is really about
immigration and family reunification and visas between countries.
What we basically say is if Vietnam is doing a good job in helping us
to reunify our families, to send families over to Vietnam and vice
versa, if they are cooperating with us in a good way, to have that
happen, then we waive Jackson-Vanik and we give them some special trade
provisions like letters of credit, the workings of OPEC, some programs
through the Department of Agriculture.
The fact of the matter is that Vietnam is not doing a good job to
help us with immigration, with visas, with family visits. How do I know
that? I represent the largest group of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam in
the world. So about 65 percent of immigration visas, family visits with
respect to Vietnam in this country, those requests go through my
office, my office in Garden Grove, California.
We know what it is like to have to deal with that government. We know
that when people here who are now U.S. citizens go to Vietnam to visit
their families, that they are asking for additional moneys, that they
cannot get their visas to come, that their families cannot get their
exit visas. A country where, on a normal basis, on an annual basis, a
person would maybe feel like they make $300 or $400 a year, when they
ask somebody for an exit visa and they tell them it costs $2,000 in
order to get it, well, how are they supposed to do that? How are we
supposed to do that?
If we approve for a family member to come to the United States, but
they cannot get their exit visa because the government of Vietnam says,
oh, we need $2,000 from that person, then they are not helping with
reunifying these families, and that is what this waiver is about. If
they are doing a good job on that, we are going to give these extra
things to help with the trade.
Trade with Vietnam is important. We approved it. I did not vote for
it, but we approved it as a country over a year ago, and I believe that
as we work with Vietnam and as we have more business going on that,
hopefully human rights might get better in Vietnam. They have not so
far. It has gotten worse, we can take a look at the State Department
records, and if we are interested in what is going on with the whole
issue of human rights, just this afternoon at 3 p.m., a Human Rights
Caucus will hold a hearing on the conditions in Vietnam with respect to
human rights. They have not gotten any better.
The reality is that even one of the people who submitted written
information to us for this hearing this afternoon was arrested just
last week, probably for having spoken up and sent us information about
what is going on in that country. We have not heard from him. We cannot
find him. This is what happens. There is no freedom of the press in
Vietnam. There is no collective bargaining when a person is working.
They cannot assemble. They cannot even assemble for church purposes to
do a procession through town to talk about things. They are not allowed
to do that.
There is no freedom and human rights in Vietnam, and we need to stop
that and that is what we will discuss this afternoon.
Today, in this Chamber for my colleagues, this vote is about whether
they are helping us to bring families together and they are not. They
are not doing a good job.
So I would ask my colleagues, please vote for this resolution. It is
time we stood up and we asked for more. This is about families. This is
about mothers and fathers who have been here for 10 or 15 years and
want their children who are still in Vietnam.
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the very distinguished
gentleman from California (Mr. George Miller).
(Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California asked and was given permission to
revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman
for yielding me this time, and I rise in opposition to the resolution.
The United States and Vietnam have had a long and sometimes difficult
history. Today, that relationship is one of increasing cooperation,
best symbolized by the expanded trade, growing tourism, liberalized
emigration policies and improvements in the standard of living of the
Vietnamese people. As in the past, this record warrants waiving
Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions, as requested by Democratic and
Republican Presidents alike.
The passage of the Bilateral Trade Agreement last year played a major
role in building a new relationship between our people. The Vietnamese
government has made continued efforts toward economic, legal and labor
reforms in the 10 months since the BTA was approved. Trade between our
countries is growing, there is continued full cooperation on the
important POW-MIA issues, and the Vietnamese government has moved
forward by enacting legal reforms in the areas of intellectual
property, investment, transparency and labor. Reimposing trade
restrictions at this point would represent an enormous and unnecessary
step backwards in this flourishing relationship.
Earlier this year, I visited Vietnam for the third time and had an
opportunity to meet with representatives of local business and labor
unions, the National Assembly, the International Labor Organization,
and American business people who are investing in Vietnam. As a critic
of many other trade agreements that are insensitive to the legitimate
needs of working people, I reiterated my message of support for closer
trade and economic relationships between our countries, with the
expectation that working men and women would benefit from these
My support for the BTA and for Jackson-Vanik waivers has never been,
and is not today, unconditional. Trade needs to work for more than
corporations and shareholders: it must also uplift workers and their
families through decent wages, fair working conditions, safe
workplaces, and basic, internationally recognized labor rights. Trade
can and must be an important tool for uplifting the conditions and
rights of workers around the world to internationally recognized
The National Assembly of Vietnam has just completed rewriting a labor
code which expands the rights of workers with respect to hiring and
termination, severance, workers' compensation, and protections for
women workers. These are significant reforms, and through the Labor
Memorandum of Understanding we signed at the time of the BTA, I expect
that the U.S. Government, together with international groups like the
ILO, which has opened
a new office in Hanoi, and Social Accountability International, will
continue to work with the Vietnamese to expand labor protections and
upgrade labor standards.
By our own standards and those recognized by the signatories of the
ILO, Vietnam still falls short on several core human rights
conventions, especially the right of free association which is the core
to a genuine independent trade union movement. During my visit to
Vietnam, I continued to emphasize the need for truly independent trade
unions and a legally protected collective bargaining policy.
The United States should continue to carefully monitor progress on
this crucial topic, as will international unions and the ILO itself,
because free unions are the measure of true worker democracy, in
Vietnam, in Cambodia, in Mexico and, for that matter, in much of the
United States where labor organizing is often inadequately protected by
current law. Unquestionably, we would like to have these political
reforms as well as liberalization of the economic system.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this joint resolution and ask
others to do so as well.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, how much time remains?
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Fossella). The gentleman from Illinois
(Mr. Crane) has 9\1/2\ minutes remaining, the gentleman from California
(Mr. Rohrabacher) has 9 minutes remaining, the gentleman from New York
(Mr. McNulty) has 6\1/2\ minutes remaining, and the gentleman from
Michigan (Mr. Levin) has 7 minutes remaining.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes.
As this debate goes on, let me again stress what we are talking
about, and I do agree with my colleague, the gentlewoman from
California (Ms. Sanchez), that the legal essence of what is being
talked about today is whether or not we should grant normal trade
relations and whether or not, and this should be based on emigration
As she said, even in the emigration area, the Communist dictatorship
in Vietnam has not measured up to what it should and, in fact, I cannot
believe, and I am sure she agrees, that those Vietnamese who are being
victimized by the extortion of this dictatorship, that this extortion
is not going on without the knowledge of the dictatorship, without the
acknowledgment and probably the profiteering of the very people that we
want to make this great relationship with.
This is not a debate about whether or not we should have a good
relationship with the Vietnamese people. It is what kind of
relationship we will have with the government of Vietnam, a government
which is a Communist dictatorship, which arrests anyone who speaks up
against it, a government that extorts, as we have heard on the floor
today, extorts money from would-be immigrants, a government that plays
games and continues to play games with our POWs and the bodies of our
brave soldiers and airmen and Marines from 20 years ago.
What type of relationship do we want to have with them? Do we want to
treat them the way we do Italy, England, or even Thailand, even more
democratic governments? I do not think so. I think we should have free
trade and good relations with the people of the world and the
governments of the world if they have a free and democratic government.
We should have free and open trade. But if those governments are
dictatorships that terrorize their own populations, we should not have
the same type of trade relations. We should not have a Jackson-Vanik
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. COYNE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished
gentlewoman from Illinois (Mrs. Biggert).
Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Illinois for
yielding me this time.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to oppose the
resolution disapproving the President's extension of the Jackson-Vanik
waiver for Vietnam. It has been 8 years since we ended our trade
embargo and began the process of normalizing relations with Vietnam.
Over these few years, good progress has been made. From its accounting
of U.S. POWs and MIAs, to its movement to open trade with the world, to
its progress on human rights, Vietnam has moved in the right direction.
Vietnam is not there yet, but Vietnam is moving in the right direction.
Mr. Speaker, H.J. Resolution 101 is the wrong direction for to us to
take today. Who is hurt if we pass this resolution? We are. It is the
wrong direction for U.S. farmers and manufacturers, who will not have a
level playing field when they compete with their European or Japanese
counterparts in Vietnam. It is the wrong direction for our joint
efforts with the Vietnamese to account for the last remains of our
soldiers and to answer, finally, the questions of their loved ones
here. And it is the wrong direction for our efforts to influence the
Vietnam people, 65 percent of whom were not even born before the war
Let us not turn the clock back on Vietnam. Let us continue to work
with them, and in so doing teach the youthful Vietnamese the values of
democracy, the principles of capitalism, and the merits of a free and
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to a very distinguished
colleague, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Evans).
Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this
time, and I urge my colleagues to oppose the resolution before us.
I have heard several people talk about what this is all about and to
make a good faith attempt to try to set the limits of the debate and to
move forward. But what I think I can add to this debate is that I have
been to Vietnam and seen the work of the Joint Task Force on Full
Accounting, our military presence tasked with looking for our missing-
I visited these young men and women, and they are among the bravest
and most motivated soldiers I have ever met. Everyday, from the jungle
battle sites to the excavation of crash sites on mountain summits, they
put their lives in harm's way to find our missing. It is talking with
them that it was clear to me their mission was one that they totally
Last year, seven Americans of this task force, along with nine
Vietnamese, lost their lives in a helicopter crash on the way to a
recovery mission. We should not forget these American heroes, or
soldiers, who gave their lives to accomplish the mission they had
believed was their highest duty and honor. If we pass this resolution
of disapproval, we would be hindering this mission. The only way to
carry this out is to be in Vietnam. Maintaining that presence means
honoring our promises to Vietnam. Passing this resolution would send
the wrong signal to the Vietnamese, not to mention the brave Americans
who are still searching, as we meet here today, in the rice paddies and
mountains of Vietnam.
This is the fifth year that this House will vote on a resolution of
disapproval. Since we first voted on this, the House has each time,
with growing and overwhelming support, voted down this resolution. With
last year's passage of the Bilateral Trade Agreement, we are truly
embracing a successful policy that will advance our Nation's interests
and goals of achieving a more open and cooperative Vietnam. Let us stay
the course. Please vote against this resolution.
Mr. CRANE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest).
Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me
I rise in support of America's continued trade with Vietnam. In the
1870s, the French moved into Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam,
isolated that country, demeaned the people and took away their dignity.
That lasted until 1940. The Japanese moved in, isolated Vietnam from
the rest of the world, demeaned the population, and took away their
dignity. In 1945, the French moved back in and did the same thing. So
for well over a century the Vietnamese were isolated from the rest of
the world, could not exchange information, had no trade, had no
expertise or skill to understand the nature of a nation having its own
sovereignty, knew nothing about World War II which we fought to have a
nation determine its own destiny, and there has been trouble in the
1950s and in the 1960s and the 1970s, and then the United States
finally decided that in order to help the
Vietnamese gain some dignity, to have a sense of the international
community, they needed the skills, the expertise, and, yes, the hope,
and so what we have been doing over the last so many years is expanding
the horizon for the Vietnamese people so they have what it takes to
change their government from the inside while we make strong attempts
to change their government from the outside, especially through the
requirements of the trading agreements. Take the trading agreements
away, take Americans away from the landscape of Vietnam, and the
Vietnamese people go back to that isolation. They go back to the
demeaning effects of what communism can do when no one reaches in to
wrestle that juggernaut.
So what this debate is about is we understand, we know the nature of
the government of Vietnam, and I have been back to Vietnam after I
served there in the 1960s, and, yes, I have sat at a table with the
same people that fought against me in the same region at the same time
and they said, ``We are communist,'' and I said, ``You would be better
off giving your people some sense of freedom, freedom of the press,
freedom of assembly, freedom to bargain,'' et cetera. So we know the
government and we are working with the government to pull them out of
that mindset because communism does not work, but we cannot give up on
the people as well. And the way we get into the country to deal with
the Vietnamese people to give them hope, to give them dignity, to give
them the skills that are necessary to rise up out of the problems that
exist there is through the requirements in trade.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from
Virginia (Mr. Wolf) who has been involved personally in almost every
human rights fight in the Congress since I got here 14 years ago and
whom I deeply respect.
Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support the legislation that
disapproves granting Vietnam normal trade relations, and I appreciate
the faithfulness of the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) on
The government of Vietnam is a gross violator and abuser of human
rights. It persecutes all faiths, Buddhists, Roman Catholics and
Protestants. The State Department's most recent annual report on
international religious freedom cites that ``police routinely
arbitrarily detained persons based on their religious beliefs and
practices. Groups of Protestant Christians who worshipped in house
churches in ethnic minority areas were subjected to detention by local
officials who broke up unsanctioned religious meetings. Authorities
also imprisoned persons for practicing religion illegally by using
provisions of the penal code that allow for jail terms of up to 3 years
for abusing freedom of speech, press or religion.'' There are an
estimated 2 dozen religious prisoners today as we debate this
According to the State Department's report on religious international
freedom, a Roman Catholic priest, Father Ly, has been in prison for
several years and it is almost like nobody knows who Father Ly is,
because he testified at a hearing held by the U.S. Commission on
International Religious Freedom.
Vietnam persecutes believers. It abuses those who fought alongside
those in the United States. This Congress and this administration want
to now give them normal trade relations. Vietnam should not get normal
trade relations until its human rights record substantially improves.
Furthermore, there are now 348 detainees from Vietnam in U.S.
custody, violent prisoners that are in United States prisons. These are
Vietnamese prisoners who have finished their term, are violent, and yet
the Vietnam government will not take them back. They will not take them
back. I believe that we should press the State Department and the
Department of Justice, and the U.S. Ambassador in Vietnam ought to be
speaking out on this issue. The silence coming out of our embassy in
Vietnam is deafening. The silence is deafening.
Mr. Speaker, Members who vote to grant Vietnam normal trade relations
in the belief that engagement and trade will improve Vietnam's records
ought to speak out. Anyone who votes for this, speaking out publicly to
the Vietnamese government, will help raise attention to the human
rights problems and put pressure on the Vietnamese to stop persecuting
Catholics, Protestants, and Buddhists.
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from
Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer).
Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me
this time to speak against this resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I would begin by agreeing with my colleague from
Virginia that people on both sides of the aisle have a responsibility
to speak out on the continuing problems with human rights abuse,
particularly religious freedom in Vietnam. I noted my colleague from
Michigan had a very balanced statement in terms of looking at the
This year's annual vote to disapprove the President's waiver comes
less than a year after the historic vote to approve normal trade
relations. We have seen solid progress and accomplishments since 1998
in my tenure in the House. Progress has not just been in economic
opportunity for American companies in Vietnam and doing business in
Vietnam, although those are important, particularly given these
troubled economic times, we have seen progress in terms of the growing
prosperity of the Vietnamese people, an 8 percent increase in per
capita income in just this last year alone, and a tenfold increase in
private firms that are doing business in Vietnam. We have seen progress
in assuring continued progress and repatriating the remains of hundreds
of Americans missing in action in Vietnam. I was there 2 years ago with
President Clinton and watched men and women from both countries working
to make sure that we are answering these questions.
More has been done in this war than any other war in American
history. We have made progress in assuring the rights of Vietnamese
returnees seeking to resettle in their homeland, and of Vietnamese
citizens seeking to emigrate from Vietnam to the United States.
Yes, the human rights record is a dark spot, but revoking normal
trade relations with Vietnam is not going to accelerate progress. Even
the uneven progress in the course of this last year, we see that most
of the promises, most of the benchmarks have in fact been met. I have
done as the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf) has suggested, when I
have been in Vietnam, I have used the opportunity to press the need for
religious freedom and the opportunity for Vietnamese to practice their
faith. That is going to be critical for Vietnam to be fully accepted
into the family of nations.
But the fact is this is a government in transition. The old guard
took over a year to figure out that they could accept yes for an answer
and approve the bilateral trade agreement.
Mr. Speaker, I have experienced firsthand the warmth of the
Vietnamese people, 80 percent of whom were mere children or were not
even born during the Vietnam War. I have seen their eagerness to
embrace American innovation and American values. I strongly urge that
we continue with our progress by rejecting this resolution today.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from
California (Ms. Lofgren).
Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.J. Res. 101,
disapproving the extension of the waiver authority in section 402(c) of
the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to Vietnam.
I am proud to represent a community in Santa Clara County that has
been greatly enriched by the contributions of its Vietnamese American
residents. For many years now, first an immigration attorney, a local
elected official, and now as a Member of Congress, I have worked
closely with these Americans on two issues close to their hearts and to
mine, immigration and human rights.
Quite a few of my constituents came to San Jose as refugees, escaping
an oppressive political regime. That is why I value their knowledge,
experience and support, and that is why I believe their unique
perspective on the U.S. relationship with Vietnam deserves deference.
While we are constantly told that the government of Vietnam is making
progress in the area of human rights, I continue to hear about
political persecuting and unwarranted detentions from my friends in the
Vietnamese community. Later today, the Human Rights Caucus will be
holding a hearing on freedom of expression in Vietnam.
Article 69 of the Vietnamese constitution recognizes freedom of
opinion, expression and association for all its citizens, but the
Vietnamese people are denied these privileges daily. Vietnamese
authorities continue to sensor mail, telephone calls and e-mail.
Freedom of the press is a joke. While 500 papers exist in Vietnam, not
one is privately owned. All radio and television stations are state-
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have detailed cases, and
their list of abuses is long. The U.S. State Department and
humanitarian groups have reported that the Vietnam human rights
situation has actually worsened in 2001, especially with regard to
ethnic minorities like the Montagnards. There are reports of harassment
of prominent dissidents in Vietnam, and Hanoi still implements strict
control over the press.
If Vietnam is making such great strides towards human rights, then
why are we continuing to hear that those who try to express themselves
freely are routinely detained?
I believe in free trade. I have voted for trade agreements, but I
believe that the situation in Vietnam is different. Here we have a
clear opportunity to change the course of this Nation's behavior in
exchange for trade. If we insist on human rights, Vietnam will comply
in order to obtain a trade relationship with America. I ask my
colleagues to support H.J. Res. 101. Stand up to the communists in
Vietnam. Insist on human rights in Vietnam in exchange for free trade.
Mr. CRANE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from
Arizona (Mr. Kolbe).
Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this
time. I rise in opposition to this resolution that would overturn the
waiver of Jackson-Vanik for Vietnam.
Mr. Speaker, it is clear to me that economic engagement with Vietnam
is critical. It is critical if we are going to have progress on the
economic and political fronts. The kind of engagement that we have
today promotes economic growth. It promotes the reduction of poverty in
that country, and those certainly are goals that we are seeking to
achieve around the world. As it encourages economic freedom in the
country, it thereby helps to promote human rights and political
I think of two other countries in that region that have had similar
kinds of histories, Taiwan and South Korea. Both of those countries did
not have good records on human rights. They did not have expressions of
support for human rights or political freedom and political pluralism.
But today those are flourishing democracies, and they are flourishing
because of the economic progress that has been made in those countries.
The same can be said of Vietnam.
I was in Vietnam just a year ago. It had been 10 years since my last
visit, and the changes which have taken place are very, very dramatic
in Vietnam. This is a country that is clearly on the edge of making
huge progress economically; and as it does, I think one can predict
with absolute certainty that there will be progress on the political
front as well.
If we were to revoke normal trade relations with this country, it
means that we isolate the country politically. As we do that, we give
them reason not to move towards more openness, more freedom and
pluralism. It is not in our interest, economically or politically, from
our national security standpoint, to isolate Vietnam. It is in our
interest to integrate it into the trading system and the economic
integration of Southeast Asia.
Mr. Speaker, I hope that this resolution will be defeated and that we
will continue to grant normal trade relations with Vietnam.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.
Mr. Speaker, this has nothing to do with isolating Vietnam, and
everybody in this debate should understand that. It has nothing to do
with whether or not Americans should be able to sell their products in
Vietnam. People can sell whether we grant them this waiver or normal
trade relations status. They can still go over and build factories and
sell products. We certainly are not going to isolate Vietnam.
What this is about, in essence, unless Vietnam gets this normal trade
relations, gets this Presidential waiver, what is happening, American
businessmen will be denied subsidies given to them through
international and our national financial institutions. They will be
denied the subsidies for their investment in building factories in
Vietnam. That is what is really going on here. Yet no one else
addresses that. I mentioned that in the beginning. None of the other
Members participating in the debate say that.
Let us address this. Why should we be subsidizing with our tax
dollars the building of factories in Vietnam, a communist dictatorship,
so that some of our profiteers, our businessmen who would like to make
profit off labor that does not have a right to quit, does not have a
right to complain or unionize, does not have any competition, we are
going to have slave labor basically over there manufacturing in
companies and in plants that have been built by the American taxpayers'
Mr. Speaker, that is what this is all about. That is wrong in
communist China. It is wrong in Vietnam. It is something that we should
not be doing in China. It has not opened up the society. And for 8
years it has not opened up the society in Vietnam. This is profiteering
at the expense of slave labor. This is wrong. That is the central issue
They have been playing games with us about our POWs. Let me just
suggest this. Last year during this debate I remember our good friend
and former colleague, Mr. Peterson was here, and when I said the
Vietnamese had not been forthcoming with the records on the prisons
where they held our POWs during the war, the word was spread, oh, no,
they have given us all of the records, and that came from Mr. Peterson,
who was then our ambassador. Guess what, after the debate and I talked
to him, oh, no, he had been mistaken. They have not given us those
They have not been forthcoming on that, and we have seen no progress
on human rights. We should not be giving them credits and subsidizing
our businessmen to build factories there.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from
Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).
(Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise
and extend her remarks.)
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, why do we not put this in
historical context? Why do we not remember the Vietnamese people who
fought alongside our young men and women for freedom and justice? This
is not a trade bill. This is, frankly, rewarding those who continue to
punish those hard-working, dedicated freedom fighters in Vietnam and
punish their families who are here in the United States, refusing to
allow their families to reunite with my own constituents and
constituents across this Nation who work hard every day in our
communities and cannot see their family members.
This is not a trade question, because I do believe that it is
important for cultural exchange and the opportunities for trade
exchange between our mutual businesses if it is fairly done, if those
who are working are paid fairly in Vietnam, if no slave labor is used,
if no human rights violations are used against those in that country.
What kind of morals do we have if we allow trade to be superior to
the idea of freedom for the people? We should support this resolution
and deny trade until Vietnam understands the real essence of human
rights and freedom and justice.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, before I recognize my final speaker, I
would ask the Speaker to outline the order in which the closing
statements will take place.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Fossella). The gentleman from Illinois
(Mr. Crane) will close, the gentleman from New York (Mr. McNulty) will
be in support, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin), and the
gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher).
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, I suggest that the order will be the
reverse of what the Chair just outlined.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. We need the time as well, Mr. Speaker.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair was designating from the close
backward. The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Crane) has the right to
Mr. McNULTY. That is correct. The order of closing, then, will be the
gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher), the gentleman from
Michigan (Mr. Levin), myself, and then the chairman?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman is correct. The gentleman from
Illinois (Mr. Crane) has 2\1/2\ minutes remaining, the gentleman from
New York (Mr. McNulty) has 3 minutes remaining, the gentleman from
Michigan (Mr. Levin) has 2 minutes remaining, and the gentleman from
California (Mr. Rohrabacher) has 1\1/2\ minutes remaining.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from
Vermont (Mr. Sanders).
Mr. SANDERS. I thank my friend for yielding me this time.
Mr. Speaker, I understand that the big money interests want us to
have a free trade agreement with Vietnam because it works in their
interest. How wonderful it is for them to throw American workers out on
the street so they can move to Vietnam and China and Mexico and pay
desperate people 20 cents an hour, and they can make all kinds of
profits while American workers lose their jobs. The truth is our
current trade policy is a disaster. In the last 4 years under NAFTA and
MFN with China and trade agreements with Vietnam, we have lost millions
of factory jobs. In fact, we have lost 10 percent of our manufacturing
In my small State of Vermont, companies cannot compete against cheap
imports. All over this country, companies are running to China and
Vietnam to exploit the people in those countries. It is
incomprehensible to me that any Member of this Congress who wants to
protect American workers would vote against the amendment of my friend
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, there are some true champions of human
freedom in this body and none has a stronger voice and has been active
as long as the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) to whom I yield 1
(Mr. SMITH of New Jersey asked and was given permission to revise and
extend his remarks.)
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the
It seems inconceivable to me that we could be waiving Jackson-Vanik
at a time when the Vietnamese Government is paying $100 a head for the
return of the Montagnards who have been escaping. Dissidents, men and
women who have been repressed by this government, are being returned
from Cambodia back to this repressive regime. To waive this in the
Pollyanna-ish view that somehow human rights are improving is
inconceivable to me.
I would also point out to my colleagues that this body passed the
Vietnam Human Rights Act, which I introduced, overwhelmingly last year,
410 to one. The Vietnamese Government has moved Heaven and Earth in the
other body to put a hold on that legislation which simply looks for
human rights improvements. They have not happened, I say to my
colleagues. We need to step up to the plate and say, despite the
expectations that might have been there, they have not been realized.
Human rights continue to be trashed.
I again rise in strong support of the gentleman's resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I submit the following letter for inclusion in the
Commission Asks Secretary Powell to Raise Religious Freedom Issues With
Vietnam at ASEAN Meeting
Washington, July 23--The U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom, a federal agency advising the
Administration and Congress, last week wrote Secretary of
State Colin L. Powell, asking that he raise religious freedom
issues with Vietnamese officials during the ASEAN Regional
Forum at the end of this month. The text of the letter
July 17, 2002.
Dear Secretary Powell: I am writing on behalf of the U.S.
Commission on International Religious Freedom, which urges
you to raise prominently the protection of religious freedom
in Vietnam during your upcoming participation at the ASEAN
Regional Forum in July 2002. We also urge you to impress your
Vietnamese officials that improvements in the protection of
religious freedom in Vietnam are critical to continuing
progress in U.S.-Vietnam relations.
Since the Congress ratified the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral
Trade Agreement (BTA) in September 2001, the protection of
religious freedom in Vietnam continues to be minimal at best.
In February 2002, the Commission sent a delegation to visit
that country. Despite the increase in religious practice
continues its repressive policy toward all religious and
their followers in Vietnam.
Key Vietnamese religious dissidents remain under house
arrest or imprisoned, including two senior leaders of the
outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) ? Most
Venerable Thich Huyen Quang and Venerable Thich Quang Do ?
and a Hoa Buddhist leader, Mr. Le Quang Liem. Mr. Quang has
been denied access to much needed medical treatment. in
addition, Father Thaddeaus Nguyen Van Ly, who last year
submitted written testimony to the Commission, was sentenced
to 15 years in prison after having been convicted on charges
of ``undermining state unity'' and ``slandering the
government.'' During the Commission's visit,
Vietnamese officials refused the delegation's requests to
meet with these and other religious leaders who were
either in prison or under house arrest.
Government officials continue to harass leaders of
unregistered religious organizations and their followers,
particularly unregistered Protestant fellowships, as well as
clergy members of officially recognized religious groups who
oppose government interference in their activities. At the
same time, Vietnamese authorities have refused to register
some religious groups. For example, the Vietnamese government
has refused to register or permit any activity of Baha'i
adherents, whose membership in Vietnam before 1976 counted
close to 200,000. Meanwhile, provincial and local officials
continue to force Hmong Christians in northwestern Vietnam to
renounce their faith. Hmong Christian leaders have been
arrested and beaten, and their followers are not allowed to
meet in homes and conduct worship. Catholic bishops continue
to have limits imposed on them by the government regarding
the number of candidates who can be admitted to study for the
priesthood as well as the number of qualified men who are
allowed to be ordained to the priesthood.
Although the government recognized the Evangelical Church
of Vietnam in the South in April 2001, that recognition
apparently has not been extended to the Montagnards who
reside in the Central Highlands. Government repression of
religious freedom for Monagnard Christians, coupled with an
ongoing land dispute between the Montagnards and the
government, led to unrest and government crackdown in
February 2001 that ultimately resulted in the flight to
Cambodia of over 1,000 Montagnards. Nonetheless, it appears
that the Vietnamese government continues to violate the right
to religious freedom of Montagnard Christians in the Central
Highlands through arrests and the closing of churches.
In light of these conditions, the Commission urges you to
raise these issues in substantive discussions with Vietnamese
officials during your attendance at the ASEAN Regional Forum.
In particular, we hope you will inquire about the confinement
of Mr. Quang, Mr. Do, and Mr. Liem, and the imprisonment of
Furthermore, we wish to draw your attention to the
following recommendations, first set out in our 2001 Annual
Report. We urge you to press the Vietnamese government to
take the following steps:
(1) Release from imprisonment, detention, house arrest, or
intimidating surveillance persons who are so restricted due
to their religious identities or activities.
(2) Permit full access to religious leaders by U.S.
diplomatic personnel and government officials, the U.S.
Commission on International Religious Freedom, and
international human rights organizations. The government
should also invite a return visit by the UN Special
Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion.
(3) Establish the freedom to engage in religious activities
(including the freedom for members of religious groups to
select their own leaders, worship publicly, express and
advocate religious beliefs, and distribute religious
literature) outside state-controlled religious organizations
and eliminate controls on the activities of officially
registered organizations. Allow indigenous religious
communities to conduct educational, charitable, and
humanitarian activities, in accordance with the UN
Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance
(4) Permit religious groups to gather for observance of
(5) Return confiscated religious properties.
(6) Permit domestic Vietnamese religious organizations and
individuals to interact with foreign organizations and
(7) Permit domestic Vietnamese religious and other non-
governmental organizations to distribute their own and
(8) Support exchanges between Vietnamese religious
communities and U.S. religious and other non-governmental
organizations concerned with religious freedom in Vietnam.
In its May 2001 report, the Commission also recommended
that the U.S. government continue to support the ASEAN Human
Rights Working Group, and that it should encourage the
Vietnamese government to join the working group by
establishing a national working group. The Commission urges
you to take this opportunity to engage officials of the ASEAN
working group in serious discussions about the promotion of
human rights, including religious freedom, among ASEAN member
states. Moreover, we urge you to impress upon Vietnamese
officials that the establishment of a national working group
by their government would be an important sign of Vietnam's
commitment to protecting religious freedom and other human
Thank you for your consideration of the Commission's
recommendations. We would be grateful if you would share with
us the findings and achievements of your visit upon your
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
We have heard over and over again that there has been progress made
in Vietnam, but there has been no progress, obviously no progress, on
human rights. They have gone the opposite direction. We have heard
there has been progress in POWs. That is not true. Again, let me
reaffirm that they have never given the reports that we have been
begging for for the records for the places where they kept our POWs so
we could determine how many POWs were kept afterwards. And there is
never an excuse because of the lack of human rights in Vietnam for us
to subsidize the building of factories with American tax dollars,
putting our own people out of work in a Communist dictatorship.
I call on my colleagues to support my resolution in denying this
waiver of normal trade relations with this Communist dictatorship. Let
us not throw our people out of work to give the chance for subsidized
loans to our big businessmen to build factories in Vietnam.
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
Trade is rarely a matter of a single dimension. I always resist the
arguments that pretend or assume that trade is all one way or all the
other. There are usually considerations on all sides of the trade
equation. I do not think trade by itself is a guarantee of political
freedom. There has to be pressure on governments. It depends on the
situation. But there also has to be engagement in most circumstances as
well as pressure. That is what this discussion today is all about.
We have spent, many of us, a lot of time with former Ambassador Pete
Peterson. He has assured us that Vietnam is not the same place today as
it was 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. It is moving some steps forward, and
it is also at times moving backwards. Our job is to help it keep moving
in the right direction.
Mr. Speaker, the vote today if it succeeds relates not only to
subsidies. It would revoke the bilateral trade agreement that was
passed here by a very substantial margin just last year. I think those
who voted in favor of that bilateral trade agreement have no reason
today to change their vote. Those who have voted against this
resolution in the past have no reason to change their vote. We will see
in the future what happens, for example, with the textile agreement,
and I have already made clear the position of many of us. But today we
should remain on the course of both engagement and pressure.
I urge opposition to this resolution.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
I thank Chuck Henley, Ron Cima, and Boyd Sponaugle of the Office of
the Secretary of Defense for all of the latest information which they
have supplied to me with regard to our MIAs. I am grateful to them and
all of those who are helping to bring our MIAs home.
Mr. Speaker, we heard a lot about priorities today. I try to keep my
priorities straight. Part of that is remembering that had it not been
for all of the men and women who wore the uniform of the United States
military through the years, some of whom are present in this Chamber
right now, I would not have the privilege of going around bragging, as
I often do, about how we live in the freest and most open democracy on
the face of the Earth.
Freedom is not free. We have paid a tremendous price for it. That is
why I try not to let a day go by without remembering with deepest
gratitude all of those who, like my brother Bill and tens of thousands
of others through the years, gave their lives in service to this
country. And it's why I'm thankful for people like J. Leo O'Brien,
whose funeral I attended yesterday. Leo was part of what we call ``the
greatest generation''--those who served in World War II. Leo served,
put his life on the line for all of us, for our families, and for all
that we hold dear, and thankfully came home and rendered outstanding
service in the community. He then raised a beautiful family to carry on
in his fine tradition. That is what America is all about. Veterans are
the reason why, when I get up in the morning, the first two things I do
are to thank God for my life and then veterans for my way of life.
And so, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all 1,442 Americans missing in
action in Vietnam and their families, I support this resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. CRANE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
In response to some of the arguments that have come up earlier, I
would like to make just a couple of observations, one dealing with the
Overseas Private Investment Corporation. It is charging user fees
historically, and it is a U.S. Government agency that operates at no
net cost to U.S. taxpayers. OPIC has earned a net profit in each year
of operations, $125 million in fiscal year 2001, and its reserves
currently stand at more than $4 billion. OPIC projects have also
generated $64 billion in U.S. exports and created nearly 250,000
American jobs. OPIC projects are carefully screened for their U.S.
employment effects. OPIC does not support any projects that might harm
the U.S. economy or that would result in the loss of U.S. jobs.
It is imperative that we continue Vietnam's Jackson-Vanik waiver. It
is in the United States' interest to have an economically healthy
Vietnam that is engaged with a global community of nations. Vietnam is
currently negotiating its accession to the World Trade Organization;
and I fully support that effort, provided it is based on commercially
sound terms. The BTA and its implementation offer an important road map
for Vietnam to follow to help achieve that goal.
Although Vietnam has far to go in improving human rights for its
people, withdrawing the Jackson-Vanik waiver would eliminate our
ability to influence its policies. I urge my colleagues to defeat this
Mr. LaFALCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 101, the
resolution of disapproval of the President's waiver of the Jackson-
Vanik Amendment for Vietnam.
On June 3, 2002, President Bush notified Congress of his intention to
issue a limited Jackson-Vanik waiver for trade relations with Vietnam
for another year. I agree with the President's action and believe that
it is in our national interest to continue a policy of engagement with
Since the early 1990s, the United States has taken various steps to
improve relations with Vietnam. In 1994, President Clinton lifted the
U.S. trade embargo on Vietnam in recognition of the progress made in
accounting for prisoners of war and servicemen missing in action. In
1995, President Clinton established diplomatic relations with Vietnam.
Last year trade between the United States and Vietnam totaled $1
billion. While such amount is not large relative to our total trade
with the rest of the world, it is significant for Vietnam and is an
important degree of engagement with a country that was once our enemy.
Last fall, Congress enacted legislation that ratified a U.S.-Vietnam
bilateral trade agreement and extended normal trade relations to
Vietnam. As in the case of China and some other countries, an annual
review of Vietnam's trade status is required by the Jackson-Vanik
amendment to the 1974 Trade Act.
If this resolution was adopted, Vietnam could not receive U.S.
government credits, or credit or investment guarantees, such as those
provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the
Export-Import Bank and the U.S. Agriculture Department. In addition,
imports from Vietnam would be subject to much higher tariffs and
duties. These measures, which we grant to countries with which we have
normal trade relations, would severely damage our trade with Vietnam.
The trade fostered by normal trade relations with Vietnam, relations
that require a Jackson-Vanik waiver, are necessary for the United
States to more effectively push for reform in Vietnam. As a result of
the normalizing of
trade and diplomatic relations with Vietnam, Hanoi has made major
progress on freedom of emigration, including helping with last year's
resettlement of 3,000 former boat people held in refugee camps
throughout Asia. In addition, Vietnam has steadily improved cooperation
in locating U.S. servicemen missing in action. Finally, the very act of
trading with the United States, and the desire to increase that trade,
is resulting in the beginning of meaningful economic reforms in
This is a lesson that sadly, this Administration has not applied to
relations with Cuba. There we have had a decades long trade embargo,
and economic sanctions, that has done nothing, absolutely nothing, to
loosen or undermine the hold of the Castro regime on the Cuban people.
I urge the Administration to review the success of its actions on trade
with Vietnam and apply that lesson to trade with Cuba. We will improve
human rights and the economic situation of the Cuban people faster with
a policy of trade engagement than with maintaining the status quo
policy of failed trade sanctions.
In the meantime, we must continue to maintain normal trade relations
with Vietnam. Perhaps another year's successful trade with Vietnam will
convince the Administration that normalizing trade relations with Cuba
will also be advantageous to the people of Cuba.
Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the distinguished Chairman
of the Ways and Means Committee the gentleman from California, Mr.
Thomas and the Ranking Minority Member Congressman Rangel and the
Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee Congressman Crane and its Ranking
Minority Member Congressman Levin for bringing H.J. Res. 101 to the
Floor. I want to commend Congressman Rohrabacher for crafting this
important resolution. The effect of this resolution would be to
withdraw the President's Jackson-Vanik waiver for Vietnam.
Jackson-Vanik requires that a country permits free emigration of its
citizens. According to Human Rights Watch, with regard to the exodus of
Montagnards refugees to Cambodia, the Vietnamese government did
everything that it could to prevent such an exodus. Human Rights Watch
reported ``the Vietnamese government began to tightly restrict freedom
of movement throughout the Central Highlands. Montagnards arriving at
the UNHCR sites in Cambodia reported that strict travel bans had been
instituted throughout the highlands with police posted on the roads to
stop movement of people and in the hamlets to prevent travel and
communication between villages.'' The report goes on to state that
``Areas from which large numbers of people had attempted to flee to
Cambodia faced particularly heavy surveillance and extra travel
Mr. Speaker, human rights organizations also inform us that security
police recruited villagers to report on anyone who attended Christian
meetings and even those who conducted family prayers in their own
homes. Why should we award a dictatorship that attempts to prevent our
war time allies from freely emigrating and persecutes people for
Jackson-Vanik also sets down conditions to deny MFN to any country
with a nonmarket economy. According to the Country Commercial Guide of
the U.S. Commercial Service and the U.S. Department of State ``State-
Owned Enterprises continue to dominate the industrial economy of
Vietnam . . . The government's protectionist approach to these loss-
making companies has long stood in the way of further trade reform and
investment liberalization.'' The report goes on to state that ``The
government has organized around 2,000 State-owned Enterprises into 17
so-called `general corporations' (or conglomerates) and 77 `special
corporations', thereby reinforcing monopoly or privileged conditions in
industries that account for approximately 80 percent of the productive
capacity of the state sector.''
Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that Vietnam does not meet the human
rights and economic conditions set forth by Jackson-Vanik. Let's not
reward a dictatorship that does not cooperate with us in helping to
find our missing servicemen, refuses to permit our wartime allies to
leave and uses trade to enrich and enforce its repressive regime.
Accordingly, I urge my colleagues to support H.J. Res. 101.
Mr. CRANE. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
Pursuant to the order of the House of Monday, July 22, 2002, the
joint resolution is considered read for amendment and the previous
question is ordered.
The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the joint
The joint resolution was ordered to be engrossed and read a third
time, and was read the third time.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the joint
The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that
the noes appeared to have it.
Mr. McNULTY. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further
proceedings on this question will be postponed.
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