WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) joined Senator James Lankford (R-OK) to introduce an amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act that promotes international religious freedom. It passed the Senate unanimously by a vote of 92 to 0.
The amendment adds a provision to the overall negotiating objectives outlined in TPA, requiring the Administration to take religious freedom into account whenever negotiating trade agreements. If signed into law, this would be the first time in history that religious freedom considerations would be a requisite for international trade discussions with other countries. Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) are also original co-sponsors.
Dr. Cassidy offered the following statement:
“Exports stamped ‘Made in America’ are more than products, they’re American values—one of those values is religious freedom. If a country is persecuting their citizens for their religious beliefs, U.S. relations with that country should be questioned.”