Senator Menendez will fight to keep human trafficking rules in trade bill

Reuters News
Posted: May 19, 2015 12:16 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said on Tuesday he will fight any attempt to delete a human trafficking amendment, dubbed a poison pill for a Pacific trade pact, from a key trade bill.

Menendez said he had talked to the administration and other lawmakers about the amendment, which would bar countries deemed soft on human trafficking from trade deals with expedited treatment in Congress, but was determined to keep "teeth" in the provision.

“Any effort to strip out the amendment is going to cause anything I can do under the rules for a floor battle,” he said.

Trans-Pacific Partnership member Malaysia is on the U.S. 2014 list of human-trafficking offenders, potentially excluding the whole deal from fast-track treatment.

(Reporting By Richard Cowan; Writing by Krista Hughes; Editing by Bill Trott)