U.S. to end trade benefits for Mauritania over forced labor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump intends to end trade benefits for Mauritania on Jan. 1 for not making sufficient progress on ending forced labor practices, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) said on Friday.

In a statement, USTR said Trump has determined after an annual eligibility review that Mauritania is not in compliance with requirements of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which provides duty-free treatment for certain goods.

“Forced or compulsory labor practices like hereditary slavery have no place in the 21st century,” Deputy U.S. Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney said.

“We hope Mauritania will work with us to eradicate forced labor and hereditary slavery so that its AGOA eligibility may be restored in the future,” Mahoney said.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Leslie Adler

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