Bolivia: U.S. Suspends a Trade Deal
October 23, 2008 - New York Times (AP)


The United States has decided to suspend a trade deal with Bolivia because its president, Evo Morales, has failed to improve his country’s efforts to combat drug traffickers, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday. Ms. Rice, who called the decision unfortunate but necessary, made the announcement even as Bolivian envoys were arriving at the United States trade representative’s office in Washington to lobby for continued participation in the regional trade pact.

The trade deal lowers American tariffs for Andean nations that cooperate with the United States’ effort to combat drugs. The suspension will raise tariffs on American imports of Bolivian jewelry, textiles, wood and other products, and it is expected to cost Bolivia an estimated 20,000 jobs and $150 million a year. Ms. Rice announced the suspension while in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to discuss Mexico’s attempt to crack down on violent drug cartels.