Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement he will fully lift the ban on arms sales to Vietnam:

“The security situation in Southeast Asia is driving several countries to seek closer military ties with the United States. That’s influence the administration could use to press Vietnam to better its very bad human rights record. But that’s now leverage lost with today’s action. The Obama administration’s ‘pivot to Asia’ should be about security ties, but also standing up for brave Vietnamese believers in democracy when they are under assault in Vietnam.”

NOTE:  Earlier this month, Chairman Royce sent a letter to President Obama urging him to advocate for human rights during his visit to Vietnam.