Right before he publicly attacked the Confederate flag as a “symbol of slavery,” President Obama quietly removed an “anti-slavery” provision from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement.
“The provision, which bars countries that engage in slavery from being part of major trade deals with the U.S., was written by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.),” The Huffington Post reported in May. “At the insistence of the White House, Menendez agreed to modify his language to say that as long as a country is taking ‘concrete’ steps toward reducing human trafficking and forced labor, it can be part of a trade deal.”
“Under the original language, the country that would be excluded from the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership pact is Malaysia.”
Malaysia is a major hub for human trafficking in Southeast Asia, with enslaved men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, according to the State Dept.