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U.S. halts trade pact with Bolivia

October 24, 2008|The Associated Press

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO — The United States is suspending a trade deal with Bolivia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday. She called it unfortunate but necessary because Bolivian President Evo Morales had failed to improve anti-drug efforts.

Rice made the announcement in Mexico, where she was discussing the fight of the government here against drug gangs, as Bolivian envoys arrived at the U.S. trade representative's office in Washington to lobby for continued participation in the pact. The agreement lowers U.S. tariffs for Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia in exchange for cooperation with the U.S. war on drugs.

The suspension will raise tariffs on Bolivian jewelry, textiles, wood and other products.

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