Obama Readjusts Malaysia's Tier on Human Rights List for TPP

Obama Readjusts Malaysia's Tier on Human Rights List for TPP

Postby admin » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:14 am

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/43593

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Re: Malaysia

From: e47@hillaryclinton.com
To: nbudzinski@hillaryclinton.com
CC: john.podesta@gmail.com, mmarshall@hillaryclinton.com, arenteria@hillaryclinton.com, bcraig@hillaryclinton.com, jsullivan@hillaryclinton.com
Date: 2015-07-09 15:21
Subject: Re: Malaysia

Adding Jake here too

On Jul 9, 2015, at 1:11 PM, Nikki Budzinski <nbudzinski@hillaryclinton.com>
wrote:

Hi-I wanted to provide a heads up on the next issue likely coming our way
on TPP. Obama just readjusted Malaysia's tier on the human rights list in
order to move TPP thru with Malaysia attached. Trumka will likely be
putting out a statement today blasting this. I have heard that we will
soon be asked to weigh in given the Secretary's role at State and as a
Presidential candidate. Wanted to provide this heads up. Let me know if I
can help or you have questions. Nikki

*Obama To Upgrade Malaysia On Human Rights Despite Mass Graves*

The Huffington Post

By Zach Carter

July 8, 2015 at 10:59pm

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration will remove Malaysia from its
official list of the world's worst human trafficking offenders, according
to Reuters
<http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0PJ00F20150709?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0>,
a move human rights advocates fear will damage U.S. credibility.

The maneuver would allow the administration to continue negotiating a
controversial trade agreement with Malaysia and 10 other Pacific nations.
Legislation authored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) effectively bars the
U.S. from enacting trade deals with countries deemed "Tier 3" violators of
human trafficking standards -- the worst of the worst in the State
Department's formal reckoning of governments that facilitate modern-day
slavery.

Malaysia earned its spot on that list, alongside Iran and North Korea,
<http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/226844.pdf> from years of
human trafficking, including rampant sex slavery
<http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/226847.pdf> and forced labor
in the agriculture and the textile industries, according to 2014 State
Department documents. Malaysia's electronics industry also is rife with forced
labor
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/02/obama-trade-malaysia_n_7495750.html>.
This year, mass graves
<http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/25/malaysia-migrant-mass-graves-police-reveal-139-sites-some-with-multiple-corpsesl>
for trafficking victims were discovered in Malaysia near its northern
border with Thailand.

Reuters reports that Malaysia will soon be upgraded to a "Tier 2" country,
allowing it to sidestep the ban imposed by the Menendez legislation. The
State Department said it does not comment on its human trafficking list
before it is formally issued. In a statement to HuffPost, Menendez said the
maneuver would undermine the international legitimacy of America's human
rights efforts.

"If true, this manipulation of Malaysia’s ranking in the State Department’s
2015 TIP report would be a perversion of the trafficking list and undermine
both the integrity of this important report as well as the very difficult
task of confronting states about human trafficking," Menendez said in the
statement. "The deplorable human trafficking crisis in Malaysia merits a
global cry for action and justice -- not an attempt to sweep them under the
rug for political expediency."

Malaysia passed a law
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/18/malaysia-human-trafficking_n_7616702.html>
in June amid international controversy over its human trafficking record
that would provide additional protections for victims. Human trafficking
has long been illegal in Malaysia, however. The country's critics --
including the State Department -- have not focused on its legal standards,
but on its willingness to enforce those standards.

Human Rights Watch has persistently
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/19/human-trafficking-tpp_n_7323044.html>
criticized Obama administration efforts to undermine the Menendez language.

Malaysia partially controls the Strait of Malacca
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/30/malaysia-slavery-trade_n_7472682.html>,
a key shipping lane for Middle Eastern oil bound for China. The Obama
administration has repeatedly argued that its Trans-Pacific Partnership
trade pact is designed to contain China's growing economic clout.
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