Conclusion of the Tenth Round of the Columbia River Treaty Negotiations

1 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

On June 29 and 30, the United States and Canada conducted the tenth round of negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty regime via videoconference. The last round of negotiations was held March 11 and 12 in Washington, D.C. During this round, Canada responded to a framework proposal previously tabled by the United States and presented a Canadian-developed proposal. The United States seeks to achieve a modernized Treaty regime that will ensure the effective management of flood risk; provide a reliable and economical power supply; and improve the ecosystem.

The Department of State leads a negotiating team consisting of representatives from the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division, the Department of the Interior, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The U.S. delegation has also included expert-advisors from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

The U.S. negotiating team considers the input and views from the region’s states, Tribes, community members, and stakeholders who live and work in the Columbia River Basin through consultations, comments provided through ColumbiaRiverTreaty@state.gov, and when possible, town hall meetings. The most recent town hall was held on December 17, 2019 in Richland, WA.

For more information on the Treaty, please visit: https://www.state.gov/columbia-river-treaty/ or send an email to ColumbiaRiverTreaty@state.gov.

Uncategorised

Canada Day

1 Jul

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

WASHINGTON, DC

The Government and people of the United States of America send our best wishes to Canada as you celebrate Canada Day on July 1.

The strong bond between Canada and the United States continues to help both countries create a stable future.  Canada and the United States share a culture of respecting democracy and human rights, and of safeguarding those values throughout the world.

As countries around the world face the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud to see our partnership with Canada in action.  We have engaged in joint efforts to protect Canadians and Americans, and witnessed the dedication and service of frontline workers on both sides of the border.

We are partnering to develop treatments and vaccines and jump-starting economic recovery as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is implemented, marking a new chapter in North American competitiveness.  The United States looks forward to strengthening our defense collaboration as our two nations meet existing and emerging threats and challenges.

On Canada Day, we join with our Canadian friends and neighbors to celebrate the 153rd  anniversary of the Confederation.

Uncategorised

Canada Day

1 Jul

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

WASHINGTON, DC

The Government and people of the United States of America send our best wishes to Canada as you celebrate Canada Day on July 1.

The strong bond between Canada and the United States continues to help both countries create a stable future.  Canada and the United States share a culture of respecting democracy and human rights, and of safeguarding those values throughout the world.

As countries around the world face the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud to see our partnership with Canada in action.  We have engaged in joint efforts to protect Canadians and Americans, and witnessed the dedication and service of frontline workers on both sides of the border.

We are partnering to develop treatments and vaccines and jump-starting economic recovery as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is implemented, marking a new chapter in North American competitiveness.  The United States looks forward to strengthening our defense collaboration as our two nations meet existing and emerging threats and challenges.

On Canada Day, we join with our Canadian friends and neighbors to celebrate the 153rd  anniversary of the Confederation.

Uncategorised

UN Report Exposes Iran’s Defiance of the United Nations

1 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

“Let’s never accept Iran’s usual violent behavior for fear of something far worse… Let’s never submit to extortion… Let’s uphold the mission of this body to address threats to international peace and security… Let’s continue the arms embargo on Iran.”

                                                                                                              -Secretary Pompeo, June 30, 2020

  • This latest report on UNSCR 2231 implementation, published by the United Nations Secretary-General based on an impartial evaluation of the available evidence, confirms what the United States has said all along: Iran continues to use its arsenal of conventional weapons to destabilize the Middle East and foment sectarian violence and terrorism across the region.
  • The report determines that the weapons used to attack Saudi Arabia in September 2019 were of Iranian origin. Iran intentionally misled the world by claiming that the Houthis were responsible for the attack last September. This new finding by the UN Secretary-General underscores Iran’s connection to the brazen attack on Saudi Arabia.
  • The UNSCR 2231 report also concludes that arms and related materiel seized off the coast of Yemen in November 2019 and February 2020 were of Iranian origin. The fact these items were seized outside of Iran is indicative of an arms embargo violation by Iran.
  • The report also details troubling ballistic missile activity that defies calls the Security Council has made repeatedly on Iran, and it notes equally troubling nuclear activity by Iran, which has ceased performing key nuclear commitments under the JCPOA.
  • Iran continues to defy the Security Council by providing arms to groups abroad in contravention of the arms embargo, including to proxy groups and terrorist organizations across the Middle East, such as in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Bahrain. These groups use Iranian weapons, training, and funding to destabilize the region and spread violence. Failing to extend the arms embargo in light of this activity will risk greater violence and instability in the region. With fewer arms restrictions, Iran will transfer even more weapons.
  • In light of the report’s findings and Iran’s repeated violations of the arms embargo, the Security Council must act to exert greater pressure on Iran, not less. At no point in the last decade has Iran’s behavior shown it would be appropriate to lift the arms embargo.
  • The draft resolution circulated by the United States is consistent with United Nations precedent. The UN has maintained arms restrictions on Iran for 13 years. The resolution we have circulated would extend restrictions on Iran indefinitely, until its behavior changes. The embargo should never have been given an arbitrary end date under UNSCR 2231. The restrictions should not be removed until Iran demonstrates a credible change in its behavior.

 

Uncategorised

UN Report Exposes Iran’s Defiance of the United Nations

1 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

“Let’s never accept Iran’s usual violent behavior for fear of something far worse… Let’s never submit to extortion… Let’s uphold the mission of this body to address threats to international peace and security… Let’s continue the arms embargo on Iran.”

                                                                                                              -Secretary Pompeo, June 30, 2020

  • This latest report on UNSCR 2231 implementation, published by the United Nations Secretary-General based on an impartial evaluation of the available evidence, confirms what the United States has said all along: Iran continues to use its arsenal of conventional weapons to destabilize the Middle East and foment sectarian violence and terrorism across the region.
  • The report determines that the weapons used to attack Saudi Arabia in September 2019 were of Iranian origin. Iran intentionally misled the world by claiming that the Houthis were responsible for the attack last September. This new finding by the UN Secretary-General underscores Iran’s connection to the brazen attack on Saudi Arabia.
  • The UNSCR 2231 report also concludes that arms and related materiel seized off the coast of Yemen in November 2019 and February 2020 were of Iranian origin. The fact these items were seized outside of Iran is indicative of an arms embargo violation by Iran.
  • The report also details troubling ballistic missile activity that defies calls the Security Council has made repeatedly on Iran, and it notes equally troubling nuclear activity by Iran, which has ceased performing key nuclear commitments under the JCPOA.
  • Iran continues to defy the Security Council by providing arms to groups abroad in contravention of the arms embargo, including to proxy groups and terrorist organizations across the Middle East, such as in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Bahrain. These groups use Iranian weapons, training, and funding to destabilize the region and spread violence. Failing to extend the arms embargo in light of this activity will risk greater violence and instability in the region. With fewer arms restrictions, Iran will transfer even more weapons.
  • In light of the report’s findings and Iran’s repeated violations of the arms embargo, the Security Council must act to exert greater pressure on Iran, not less. At no point in the last decade has Iran’s behavior shown it would be appropriate to lift the arms embargo.
  • The draft resolution circulated by the United States is consistent with United Nations precedent. The UN has maintained arms restrictions on Iran for 13 years. The resolution we have circulated would extend restrictions on Iran indefinitely, until its behavior changes. The embargo should never have been given an arbitrary end date under UNSCR 2231. The restrictions should not be removed until Iran demonstrates a credible change in its behavior.

 

Uncategorised

Trump’s Efforts to Distract From Failed Coronavirus Response is Hurting AAPI Community

1 Jul

As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country and more than 125,000 Americans have died from the virus, Donald Trump’s efforts to distract from his catastrophic pandemic response with dog-whistle politics continues to hurt the AAPI community. Trump has knowingly and repeatedly trotted out dangerous rhetoric in a politically-charged attempt to stoke bigotry against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The resulting racism and anti-Asian sentiment has only further exacerbated the economic and health disparities being driven and worsened by the pandemic across AAPI communities. 

“Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen a disturbing spike in anti-Asian sentiment and hate attacks across the country — and Donald Trump has only added fuel to the fire, stoking the flames of xenophobia against AAPI communities in a blatant attempt to scapegoat us for his own failures of leadership and distract from his disastrous coronavirus response,” said AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong-Hong. “It’s the same page out of the old Trump playbook: he wants us pointing the finger at each other to sow division and deflect blame from himself. But while countless Asian-owned businesses have been left reeling from the pandemic and anti-Asian sentiment, AAPI nurses, doctors, and essential workers have been serving on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus. AAPI communities across the country are hurting, and we need moral leadership that will fight against bigotry, bring Americans together, and address the glaring economic and health disparities being inflamed by Trump’s failed pandemic response.”

Instead of showing leadership during the pandemic, Trump has repeatedly used the terms ‘kung flu’ and ‘Chinese virus’ to describe the coronavirus, which further incite violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Over the course of the pandemic, members of the AAPI community have faced a significant rise in hate attacks, including verbal abuse and physical assaults. 

  • Filipino nurses were some of the first people to die in states like NY, NJ, WA, CA, NV, IL, DC, MD, and FL, and much of it because of the lack of PPE
  • Reports of hate crimes against Asian Americans during the pandemic have skyrocketed to 100 per day
  • Hate crime incidents against Asian Americans have been reported in New York, Texas, California, and many other states
  • In New York, reports of anti-Asian discrimination spiked 92% in the months of February through April, as compared to last year 

While anti-Asian sentiment rises, AAPI-owned small businesses have been hit especially hard by the spread of coronavirus as they face the double burden of a stagnant economy combined with social stigma fueled by Trump’s reckless rhetoric. 

  • Chinatowns across the country are experiencing plummeting foot traffic, forcing some shops to close permanently while others have reported losing as much as 80% of their business
  • In New York City’s typically thriving Chinatown, some businesses have reported losses of up to 50% while some have been forced to close permanently

A lack of accurate, disaggregated data and in-language health information and resources has hampered efforts to better understand how the pandemic is impacting AAPI communities. But evidence suggests that the coronavirus is exacerbating underlying economic and health disparities among Asian Americans. 

  • In San Francisco, Asian Americans accounted for an alarming 52% of coronavirus deaths 
  • In South Dakota, Asian Americans accounted for 12% of cases despite being less than 2% of the population
  • Since the coronavirus crisis, 49% of Asian American households have experienced a loss of employment income, compared to 43% of white households 
  • Additionally, 28% of Asian American renters have little confidence they will be able to pay their next month’s rent, compared to 21% of white renters 
  • In New York, where unemployment filings are disaggregated by race, records show that AAPI unemployment rates have skyrocketed: As of May, New York has seen a nearly 5,500% increase in people of Asian descent filing for unemployment benefits since April.
  • The unemployment claims from last month went up for Blacks and AAPIs while going down for everyone else

The post Trump’s Efforts to Distract From Failed Coronavirus Response is Hurting AAPI Community appeared first on Democrats.

Donald Trump’s Covid-19 Response has Failed the Disability Community

1 Jul

President Trump continues to fail in leading the nation’s response to coronavirus, and the disability community has paid the price for his irresponsibility and neglect. President Trump and his administration have ignored warnings, downplayed the impact of the crisis, and refused to take action to protect American citizens from this pandemic.

  • After repeatedly proposing budget cuts to SNAP, Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance, and other programs that allow people with disabilities to live in their communities, the Trump Administration’s ableism has proven fatal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to Trump’s deregulation of nursing homes, over 40% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are linked to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 
  • Early during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Trump Administration’s uneven distribution of supplies, ventilators, and personal protective equipment put all Americans at risk. Only after disability advocates filed complaints in several states to fight ableist health care rationing policies, the Trump Administration announced efforts to address discriminatory provisions in many states’ rationing plans.
  • Trump continues to ignore his own public health experts, refusing to encourage the use of face masks in public and refusing to follow other measures that would reduce infection rates and protect people with disabilities and other high-risk groups. He claims that the virus is “going away” and blames spikes on increased testing, even while the country experiences record high numbers of new cases and the death toll climbs. 
  • Under the Trump Administration, Republicans tried to pass legislation that would have weakened the Americans with Disabilities Act. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Republicans have tried to hijack the ADA, claiming it allowed people with undisclosed disabilities to enter public accommodations without masks. This is not only false, it is dangerous. 
  • Under the Trump Administration, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos has actively delayed implementation of regulations related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which were intended to promote equity by targeting widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump Administration’s delays in issuing educational guidance caused students with disabilities and other vulnerable populations to miss critical instruction. Instead of addressing continuing equity concerns, Secretary Devos is directing school districts to share millions of dollars of COVID19 aid with wealthy private schools
  • The COVID-19 virus has made the need for an easily accessible mail-in ballot system obvious. Many Americans are still under orders to remain at home if possible and health experts recommend against crowding. Instead of expanding options for voting, Trump tweets conspiracy theories to suppress the vote. Democrats support the expansion of the option of mail-in voting for all persons, including persons with disabilities. They also support reforms that will make it easier to register, to obtain absentee ballots, and to vote in-person or by mail. 

Democrats are committed to realizing the full promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We will protect and expand the right of Americans with disabilities to get the accommodations and support they need to live in integrated community settings. We will end institutional bias, expand access to home and community-based services, and protect the right of Americans with disabilities to live, work, vote and fully participate integrated in their own communities.

The post Donald Trump’s Covid-19 Response has Failed the Disability Community appeared first on Democrats.

Trump’s Failed Coronavirus Response Hurts America’s Workers

1 Jul

DNC Labor Council Chair Stuart Appelbaum released the following statement: 

Trump continues to put our nation’s workers at risk. Due to the nature of their work, first responders, health care workers, grocery store workers, delivery drivers, and food processing workers have been and remain at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and bringing it home to their families. 

Trump has failed to prepare, ignored warnings, downplayed the crisis, and refused to act, and too many workers have already paid their price. The country is reporting double the number of new cases per day than it did in May, but Trump claims the virus is “going away.” We have surpassed 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million infected, but Trump is tweeting threats and stoking division. 

Trump’s corrupt recovery has put big corporations first. Trump let large corporations and companies with ties to him get loans while small businesses struggled to get the aid they requested. The Trump’s administration gave a $2.4 million contract for PPE to a White House “volunteer” with no experience. Too many workers still don’t have enough PPE to protect themselves and their families, a problem that has lingered since the beginning of this crisis. We can not allow this President to continue to let profits for big corporations come before the lives and safety of workers. 

The post Trump’s Failed Coronavirus Response Hurts America’s Workers appeared first on Democrats.