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Lao-American Lobbyists Oppose PNTR Status For Laos.

The Washington Post (6/20, A21, Sarasohn) reports, June 20, 2002 Thursday

"Although the Bush administration has supported expanding trade with Laos, it hasn't yet asked Congress to approve permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status with the impoverished, authoritarian Southeast Asian country. . Some Lao-American groups, particularly the Lao Veterans of America, which lobbied successfully for U.S. recognition of the ethnic Hmong who fought alongside Americans during the Vietnam War, have strongly opposed the trade pact." The Post adds, "Lao Vets have opposed expanded trade 'aggressively,' said Philip S. Smith, who lobbies for the group and some other Lao-American organizations. Any new trade pact 'ought to be conditioned on reform' and improved human rights in Laos, he said."