WASHINGTON, July 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is the official statement of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to reports that the State Department is about to upgrade the Malaysian government's standing in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report in an effort to smooth the approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
"For years, we have heard from TPP supporters that this 12-nation deal will improve labor conditions for workers around the world. Yet as negotiators try to bring talks to a close, the public can now see there are no obstacles Pacific Rim trade supporters are unwilling to push aside in order to get this agreement done.
"This move is politics at its worst. The U.S. cannot sacrifice its integrity in exchange for a trade deal, especially when the welfare of workers is at stake. How can Americans and the world trust their governments if they are willing to turn their back on forced labor and human trafficking? That is what U.S. officials are doing here.
"America has for decades been a shining beacon of justice to oppressed people across the globe. We jeopardize that reputation if we don't require Malaysia to institute reforms to end these inhumane practices."
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
Galen Munroe, (202) 624-6911
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters